This is only one possible reading. It has been read many ways, and the point is that these are ambiguous symbols, not one-for-one allegories.

Since I already noted that it could be identified with the snake, I wish to note that it does not have to be.  The "heart of the matter," if there is one, is that the poem is complex and richly ambiguous in only a few words.

>>> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> 03/06/08 9:08 AM >>>
The heart of the matter !!! 

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
          //Rose symbolises Love.
  The invisible worm is satan worm is like snake.
  Lust destroys the Garden of Eden.//
    ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ken Armstrong 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2008 4:56 PM
  Subject: The trouble with roses (worm? what worm?) Re: On the Making of a Simile

           1 O Rose, thou art sick!
           2 The invisible worm
           3 That flies in the night,
           4 In the howling storm,

           5 Has found out thy bed
           6 Of crimson joy:
           7 And his dark secret love
           8 Does thy life destroy.

 Always wondered about the worm in this. Anyone know worms that fly in howling storms? Seriously?

Ken A             

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