Blackberry Picking By Seamus Heaney

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‘Blackberry-picking’ by Seamus Heaney There are occasions in everyone’s childhood, where things happen that may change you as a person, or creates an affect on you or even teaches you a big lesson. Many of these childhood experiences are remembered till the end. ‘Blackberry Picking’ by Seamus Heaney is a poem which deals with a childhood experience and establishes a realisation of something at the end. The poet’s effective description of the experience leads you to a clear understanding of the poem’s theme of change in life, and he does this through the use of powerful poetic techniques. ‘Blackberry Picking’ is a poem which explores the childhood experience of the narrator, Seamus Heaney. The poem starts off with an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement as he and his friends go blackberry-picking. However, the poem slowly goes on to show the change of expectations the boy had when he realises that the blackberries are rotting, and at the end we are left with the narrator’s thoughts and feelings of this change. At the beginning of the poem, we can get a vivid idea of the positive atmosphere, before the change occurs. This slowly leads to a clear understanding of the poem’s theme, further on in the text; “Late August, given heavy rain and sun for a full week, the blackberries would ripen.” This emphasizes that the poet, as a young boy, is aware that they need these conditions of ‘rain and sun’ for the blackberries to ripen. We can see that the young boy is relying on nature, and an atmosphere of anticipation can be sensed throughout the first verse. The poet then goes on to describe the blackberries as he tastes it;
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