William Blake (1757-1827) was illustrating poems hundreds of years before me. A struggling poet, artist and print-maker, unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered one of the most important figures in English literature. A Poison Tree first appeared in his Songs of Experience collection in 1794. Here’s his original piece.

I’ve done so many inspirational comics … that it’s hard not to repeat myself. After my recent bunch of comics focusing on creativity I felt like doing something different and this poem has been on my mind for awhile. Reader Jen emailed it to me years ago and I had no idea how to adapt it, so I kept it in my “to-do” file. Cut to about a month ago and I saw that Rose McGowan tweeted the poem with no explanation amidst the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal. That gave me a direction on how I could adapt the poem. And then a horrific story broke in my home town of Perth about a father who farmed his daughter out to be sexually abused by various men which made me so angry and turned the comic even darker. I know this might be jarring for some readers. It’s not uplifting, inspirational or zen, but it’s a story that came out of me that I felt compelled to draw.

MORE POETRY ADAPTATIONS
All the World’s a Stage – Shakespeare
What Teachers Make – Taylor Mali
Ithaka – C.P. Cavafy
Phenomenal Woman – Maya Angelou
To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time – Robert Herrick
Ozymandias – Percy Bysshe Shelley
Invictus – William Ernest Henley
It Couldn’t Be Done – Edgar Albert Guest
Your Life – Lang Leav
The Guest House – Rumi
Desiderata – Max Ehrmann
My Spirit is a Roaring Sea
The Monster Named Fear
The Calling