Sick Rose

by RosieShale
Last updated 8 years ago

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Sick Rose

Interpretation number 1.The rose is a beautiful maiden who has recently lost her virginity (hence crimson joy). The sickness which she suffers from is nothing more than morning sickness, The usual side-effect of pregnancy. The invisible worm is the sperm-like homunculus that was then imagined to swim out of the man's testes into the woman's womb in the heat of sexual intercourse (howling storm). We know that it was a clandestine relationship (dark secret love) and that she therefore stands little hope of marrying her lover. And giving birth or even losing virginity out of wedlock would at that time inevitably destroy her prospects in life. It's a beautiful poem, one of my favorites. I have read it to all my children in turn. They normally interpret it literally, as some kind of viral blight of roses whose spores are carried on the wind at night. It's a sad poem, no matter how it is interpreted, but electrifying in its intensity.

Intepretation number 3:This poem was written by Blake as part of his depressed reflections on the Industrial Revolution, therefore. the rose represents humanity and nature as an entity of free willed happiness. . The worm, represents both industrialism, and anything polluting of nature, it seeks out beauty and corrupts it.This clearly expresses the romantic ideals and tenets that co-exist within Blake's writing, as not only does he place high value on the human spirit, but also on the beauty of nature and disgust at industrialism.

"The Sick Rose"

Interpretation number 2:The poem is most definitely about a woman, but it is about a woman who has had a miscarriage. That is the illness. Sound far-fetched? That's whay I thought until I studied it in my Readings in Poetry class in college. Type this poem in Google images and the picture will come up. Look at it very carefully. You will see the vines and flowers twisted in the shapes of doubled-over women. The invisible 'worm' is the undeveloped child. The 'howling storm' is the woman suffering from miscarriage pains. The 'crimson joy' is the blood. The 'he' mentioned is the father of the child, most likely a married man, who never wanted a 'bastard child.' Finally, the end implies that not only has the child died, but the woman has as well.

Interpretations:Look at the poem - start with the key words underlined in the teaching booklet Discuss these first and then go on to look at the intepretations shown here - what is your opinion of theintepretations here and what is your own view of the poem?

Spot the spelling mistake in this YouTube clip !!



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