Berry First Love

1255 Words6 Pages
“No, there's nothing half so sweet in life as love's young dream.” Thomas Moore, an eighteenth and nineteenth century Irish poet, once stated this to emphasize the significance of one’s first love, and how no feeling or experience will rival it thereafter. Similarly, in Seamus Heaney’s poem, “Blackberry-Picking”, the narrator wistfully reminisces on a time when he picks blackberries as a youth, and as time passes, discovers the experience will never again be as wondrous and memorable as the first. Heaney’s tale of picking blackberries and the resulting disenchantment conveys an underlying metaphor for first love through its mechanical breakdown, exuberant beginning, and despondent finish. First and foremost, the structure, scansion, and the devices utilized in the poem lend an understanding of the literal. The poem is told by an omniscient narrator and consists of twenty four lines; the first stanza contains sixteen lines and the second is an octet. Furthermore, the poem is made up of twelve rhyming couplets, although the majority of the couplets contain near (slant) rhyme: “sun”(1) and “ripen”(2), “sweet”(5) and “it”(6), “for”(7) and “hunger”(8). The outliers are the second couplet of the first stanza, the first and last couplets of the second stanza which all end in a full rhyme. Overall, the poem is written in iambic pentameter, with slight variations. Line fifteen begins, “Like a…”, and since “a” is an article and therefore unstressed, the first foot is a trochee. In addition, Heaney uses ample enjambment throughout the poem as he fluidly continues a sentence from one line onto the next. By doing so, Heaney convey the process of picking the berries literally. The enjambment makes the poem flow more story-like allowing the reader to comprehend at face-value. Another device utilized abundantly is alliteration. The first example comes in line 5: “You ate that

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