The Sick Rose by William Blake: A recital

My recital of William Blake's 'The Sick Rose'

This short poem by William Blake truly resonates with me, these days of all days. Word of warning, this will be an indulgent blog post, a maudlin imprint of my present emotions.

Like the sick rose, I have been plagued with my own brand of the “invisible worm”. To me, it personifies pleasure, the kind that is fleeting, but the memories of which would flit about in my mind from time to time.

Everything must come to an end.

Perhaps I’ve grown old, or simply boring. The hedonistic and laissez-aller traits which once resided in me have been reduced to faded traces; distant recollections I look on today with many a chuckle. These traits have instead been supplanted with pitiful self-deprecation.

I cannot help it. After all, certain pleasures leave a bitter aftertaste in my mouth: it is an indescribable flavour that is at once specked with guilt and slicked with murky resentment.

I have broken the golden rule of communicating: make your listeners laugh. Sorry. Again, I am being disturbingly dramatic. As I do, when left to my own devices and WordPress.

As I do when pleasures “fly” into obscurity, leaving me to deal with my daily duties. As I do, when confronted with the “howling storms”, usually of endless university assessments, but also of stormy relationships and thoughts.

Nevertheless, all will come to an end: the invisible worm, the crimson joy, and the sick rose.

I will bring laughter to you tomorrow. Don’t run away just yet!


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.


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