What isn't it?




The point is not that a rose is not a crocodile (a gharial in this picture, if you want to know exactly what this creature is called). The point is that Blake's rose has twenty different, precise meanings, all of which aid and abet each other, rather than contradicting each other.

The unwanted associations have to be excluded, and this is achieved by the other words in the poem; by the context in which this particular rose occurs.


Look at the other words in your own poem. Do they help to limit or exclude unwanted meanings? Or do they take the reader down another path, so that your poem is misread and falls apart?

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if you have chosen to work with a tutor, to send in your poem now, indicating

  • which images you've used,
  • how they are to be understood,
  • how you've tried to ensure that this is the interpretation any honest reader is likely to make.