Blackberry Picking Essay

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Seamus Heaney's poem 'Blackberry Picking' is a poem which uses contrast to illustrate the key idea of coming to accept the difficult truths of the human life. The poet uses two diffrent contrasting stanzas to represent his joyousness and his enthusiasm as a child and the second stanza shows the poet reflecting on death. Imagery is used throughout the poem to represent the diffrences between life and death. Heaney compares the diffrences between the ripe and unripe berries. He describes the ripe berries as 'glossy purple clot.' The words flow together and are easy to say with, 'glossy' giving an onomatopoeic effect. Heanly uses the metaphor 'clot' which suggest how full and suculent the berries are. Oppositely, Heaney describes the unripe berries as being 'red, green , hard as a knot.' This suggests how small and undeveloped the berries are. The use of commas suggests a lack of uniformity. The first stanza is also thick with blood related imagery. 'Glossy purple clot' and 'like thickened wine: summers blod was in it.' This shows how ripe and full the berries were. He finishes the stanza by saying that their palms weere as 'sticky as bluebeards'. Sticky palms was a well known phrase for someone who was said to be a theif. Also Bluebread was a famous pirate that used to steal gold. Both of these phrases suggests that they where theifs. They portrayed as murderers which with the blood of the berries on their hands. In the second stanza the poet uses both imagery and sound to reinforce the impression of death and decay. Lines twenty and twenty one uses assonance with 'o' and 'ou'sounds. This suggests something decayed and unpleasant. He finishes with the word 'sour' to emphsise how fermented and rotten the berries are. Word choice also contributes towards the key idea of accepting the difficult truths of the human nature. He uses the words 'sweet' and 'sour'. When

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