Skip to content

Faux Outrage

Literally the most important blog in the universe since 2010.

The Sick Rose by 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.

The following is a (completely unedited) review of William Blake’s “The Rose” (above) that I wrote in 1997.  I was 15.

I can’t say enough about this piece.[1] Unfortunately, the words that I would use aren’t that complementary to the author.[2] “The Sick Rose”, in my opinion, needs to find a cure for the writing.[3] That may be a tad on the harsh side, but after examining this poem, I realized that there was no order to this poem what so ever.[4] It does not rhyme (which I enjoy) and did not tell a clear story.[5] Also, the metaphors chosen are weak in that they really do not have much to do with one another.[6] The first stanza is lacking a clear description of what is going on.[7] The author jumps from a sick rose, to the “invisible worm that flies in the night.”[8] Maybe I’m missing something, but this makes no sense at all.[9] After analyzing this poem, I came to realize that I did not gain a single thing by reading it except confusion.[10]

Other than that, I loved it…[11]


[1] Off to a great start, Zach!  I assume this assignment involved some kind of minimum word count?

[2] The words that you would use?  What about the words that you will?  In either case, I’m sure the dead-since-1827-Blake is heartbroken.

[3] But first, we need to figure out how a poem can “find a cure” for anything.

[4] No order!  Who knows where to begin!  If only our written language evolved over thousands of years into a system with very clear rules about how to read lines of text!

[5] To be fair, it’s completely understandable to get lost in the storyline of an 8-line poem.

[6] Yes!  The metaphors!  They are weak!  Weak!  They are so weak, in fact, that I will not even bore you with examples, apparently.

[7] Right, who knows what is going on!  “O rose, thou art sick!”  What can that possibly mean!?

[8] A quote!  Finally!  A quote that…seems like a reasonable transition from the sick rose.

[9] Maybe, Zach.  Maybe you are missing something.

[10] Clearly, the problem is either William Blake’s or mine.

[11] Take that, one of the most influential poets of all time!

%d bloggers like this: