The Sick Rose

This study guide will help you analyze the poem “The Sick Rose” by William Blake. You can also find a summary of the poem, as well as ideas for interpreting it and putting it into perspective

Presentation of the poem

Title: “The Sick Rose” (1794)
Author: William Blake
William Blake (1757-1827) was an English poet and painter who has contributed to the Romantic movement. The poem “The Sick Rose” was published in the collection Songs of Experience.


The poem “The Sick Rose” by William Blake begins with the speaker addressing the rose directly and telling it that it is sick. The speaker tells the rose that a dangerous worm has found the rose’s bed and that the worm’s love is destroying the rose.


Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 


In the second stanza, the worm is personified and given human attributes: “And his dark secret love/ Does thy life destroy” (ll. 7-8). In this case, the personification helps to suggest that the worm might be a metaphor for something else, and that the poem might have a hidden meaning. 

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The Sick Rose

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