The Sick Rose

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The Sick Rose

'O rose, thou art sick' – monosyllabic, matter of fact

Lines 2-8 = a continuous sentence, creating a sense of momentum and unstoppable damage. A sickness which will, eventually, destroy the rose.

The invisible worm that flies in the night - A surreal, potentially phallic symbol, suggestive of a dream-like state. Also perhaps an allusion to the serpent in the garden of Eden.

Howling storm – cacophony; a literal or metaphorical storm...?

Has found out thy bed of crimson joy – 'found out' suggestive of violation, sudden discovery. 'Bed of crimson joy' suggestive of sexual pleasure and desire.

Dark secret love does thy life destroy – love imbued with negativity; having to resort to subterfuge... 'destroy' suggestive of complete devastation.


Two rhyming quatrains, ABCB – the somewhat regular rhyme scheme and structure contrasts with the disturbing content of the


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