Poetry Friday

The Sick Rose (William Blake)

O rose, thou art sick;

The invisible worm

That flies in the night,

In the howling storm

Has found out thy bed

Of crimson joy,

And his dark secret love

Does thy life destroy


I started a new routine yesterday of reading one poem and one short story before I sit down to write every morning. This routine accomplishes several things. First, I ensure that I read enough of the classics and modern pieces which are upheld at literary accomplishments. Second, I don’t have to sit and write as soon as my butt hits the chair–I can ease into it with a mind-stimulating reading. Finally, I find inspiration in what I read, whether from the imagery, figurative language, or other writing devices the author skillfully employs, not to mention learning from others’ observations of human nature. For now, I’m reading poems from Essential Pleasures (ed. Robert Pinsky) and short stories from Fiction: A Pocket Anthology, 3rd edition (ed. R.S. Gwynn).

The companion short story to this poem was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”. And little did I know it before I read the pair, but both deal with the temptation and marring of innocence. Two different media, two different allegories, but the same message: The beautiful and innocent things in life are wont to be destroyed, either by time or malice.

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