The Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
A couple of days ago I was listening to Poetry Please on Radio 4 as I drove to Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey. This poem stood out as one I’d want to link to here. It speaks to something we probably all do at some level.
When we are completely honest with ourselves does friend mean somebody like me and foe mean not like me?