The sick roseose The sick rose is a poem by William Blake which has specific characteristics in terms of its form and content. Firstly, we can deduce that it is composed of 3 sentences, from which 2 occupy more than 1 line, and that is called enjambment. In total, the poem has 9 lines organized in two quatrains. Moreover, in terms of sound devices, we can say that this lyrical poem contains alliteration, onomatopoeia and has an organized rhyme scheme. Alliteration can be noticed in the last line of the second stanza – Does thy life destroy”, while in the last line of the first stanza, contains onomatopoeia- “howling storm”.
Furthermore, when we analyze the rhyme scheme, we deduce that the rhyme is feminine, and (the second lines of the quatrains match with the fourth ones). In addition to the form, we can say that the content is based on 3 kinetic levels. The first kinetic level is about the denotative meaning of the subjects. In this poem, the denotative meaning of the subjects worm, and rose are an organism and a flower. However, those are not the connotative meanings of the words within this poem.
The second level deals exactly with this connotative meaning, and bearing this in mind we deduce that “the sick rose” has many interpretations. One of these interpretations is that, the rose presents the unplugged virginity of the narrator, the worm represents impregnation of a woman, while the lyrical subject is a possible death of the same woman. Furthermore, based on the third kinetic level we affirm that the whole poem is one extended metaphor. Additionally, when referring to other rhetorical devices, we deduce that the personification in this poem gives the rose the humanlike trait of being ill.