Look deeper into the meaning of “The Sick Rose”

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. 

Slightly looking at this poem, my first impression is; this is a really simple poem. It would be really easy to be understood since it only consists of a couple of sentences telling the story about a rose which got sick and then die in the end. However, I was wrong. This poem unfortunately known as an enigmatic poem with so many different interpretations picturing how the poem is worth to be explained. As for me, I will write what I got from examining my wonders about the poem.
First of all, ‘The Sick Rose’ is a poem authored by William Blake who was a poet, painter, printer and also an engraver. This poem is published in his book ‘Songs of Innocence’ which is a collection of poems accompanied by illustrations he painted that framed each poems. Although this poem counts as a short poem; it only has 34 words with four line in each 2 stanzas, this poem is rich of metaphor and symbolism. Besides, even the tittle is about ‘The Sick Rose’ the body, however it doesn’t seem to tell about the sickness itself. It explained more about the condition of the worm which is in the poem, known as the cause of the sickness. Questioning about the meaning behind this great and powerful poem, let us break down the poem into some parts to be examined.
Blake wrote the poem using the comparison of ‘rose’ a dead metaphor which is well known as a symbol of woman, beauty and love, he also uses ‘worm’ which usually represent the decay or corruption, those comparisons will be joined to create the theme of the poem; mortality, love and violence. However, relate to Blake’s background as someone talented in art, I believe that this poem isn’t just about someone who is suffering of love, although it is a little difficult to be revealed since Blake gave no explanation about it.
‘O Rose’? My first wonder of this poem is why the ‘r’ in rose have to be written in capital? Is it because she is telling about someone described as a rose? Second, ‘The invisible worm That flies in the night, In the howling storm’? How a worm can be invisible? Is it because the worm is too small to be seen by the eyes? And also ‘flies in the night’? A worms are known to be walk in wrinkled, they do not have any wings, why it is described to be flies in the night? We know that worm isn’t included as a nocturnal creatures. Is it marked to describe about the silence? Third, ‘dark secret love’? This is a personification for sure since love is something refers to human’s emotion.
I started to framing that this is a story of a woman (rose) who is sick of being in a hidden relationship with a corrupt man (worm). Their relationship is a secret that must be hidden in silence which refers to ‘The invisible worm That flies in the night, In the howling storm,”. The invisible worm describing the rose’s love who is exist but cannot be seen by people and their relationship is just a secret where the worm flies at ‘night’. The night is refers to its silence and also describing about a secret and hid because of its darkness. The rose seems to be in pain and suffer of this relationship. Then the worm finally found the way into the rose’s bed of crimson joy and then corrupt the rose again till it found its death. The word ‘destroy’ in the poem represent the violence suffered by the rose by the weapon of worm’s dark secret love.
Overall, the poem is a powerful poem that has a great meaning it might describe about the mortality or human’s life in the inauspicious condition because it also conduct a violence. 

Works Cited

Miles, A. (n.d.). Coloring The Wind. Retrieved from Symbolism in poetry: www.coloringthewind.com
Polonsky, M. (1958). the Poetry Reader's toolkit. Columbus: The McGraw-Hill Companies.

*Picture source: https://didoisux.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/the-sick-rose.jpg