Blackberry - Picking

629 Words3 Pages
Seamus Heaney’s poem, ‘Blackberry-Picking’ is about picking blackberries in the summer when they begin to ripen. Once picked, the blackberries are stored in the byre, however they soon rot, leaving the narrator of the poem upset even though he knew they wouldn’t keep. The main theme of the poem is growing up as the narrator gains knowledge from his past experiences of blackberry picking and realises that things will often go bad and no one can do anything about it. Heaney conveys these themes and messages in his writing by using literary devices. The sight and taste of the blackberries is incredibly intense; Heaney uses strong, descriptive words to convey the berries as they would appear in nature. The first blackberry that ripens is ‘a glossy purple clot’, the blackberry sounds sticky and rich, leaving the narrator anticipated as he eagerly waits for more to ripen. The taste of the blackberries, ‘like thickened wine:’ is a strong, intense flavour, then ‘summer’s blood’ and ‘flesh’ give the impression that the blackberry is something else entirely. ‘Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boot.’ Gives the image of darkened shoes, sodden and covered in grass as they reached above the thorns, allowing the reader to clearly imagine the scene. The group of people who are collecting the blackberries are almost in a frenzied rush; as if they didn’t care if they got scratched and wet, they just wanted the blackberries. The blackberries, once collected, are ‘big dark blobs’ in the tins, giving the impression they are thick and juicy, merging into each other. However, in the byre, the fruit ferments, contrasting drastically from the glorious picking of the fruit. The diction of the poem begins in an adult tone of voice however lapses into a more childish tone. This allows the reader to experience the poem from a child’s view. The start of the poem is calm

More about Blackberry - Picking

Open Document