The sick rose is a poem by william blakethe first publication was in 1794 when it was included in his collection titled songs of experience as the 39th plate the incipit of the poem is o rose thou art sickblake composed the page sometime after 1789 and presents it with the illuminated border and illustrations that were typical of his self publications. O rose thou art sick in his life of william blake 1863 alexander gilchrist warned his readers that blake neither wrote nor drew for the many hardly for worky day men at all rather for children and angels himself a divine child whose playthings were sun moon and stars the. The sick rose for example isnt just about a rose thats losing its color its about a worm sometimes read as a symbol of the devil that essentially rapes the rose and destroys it with its dark secret love. The rose is sick and the poem implies that love is sick as well yet the rose is unaware of its sickness of course an actual rose could not know anything about its own condition and so the emphasis falls on the allegorical suggestion that it is love that does not recognize its own ailing state. The sick rose disease and the art of medical illustration richard barnett on amazoncom free shipping on qualifying offers the sick rose is a visual tour through the golden age of medical illustration the nineteenth century experienced an explosion of epidemics such as cholera and diphtheria
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