• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Blackberry-Picking

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

BLACKBERRY-PICKING By Seamus Heaney Blackberry picking is about greed, growing up, how we struggle in life and how pleasure can be taken away from us very quickly. Heaney writes retrospectively, about the times he as a child would go blackberry-picking every year, as a metaphor for these experiences. The first stanza of the poem is mostly quite positive and enthusiastic. The first part of the stanza describes the the ripening of the berries, "given heavy rain and sun for a full week, the blackberries would ripen". He also gives us an image of the berries. Heaney uses the metaphor "a glossy purple clot" for the ripe berries, and the similie "hard as a knot" for the unripe berries. When you say "hard as a knot", the sound is quite short, indicating that the berries are not yet ripe. ...read more.

Middle

Heaney writes "briars scratched", and "wet grass beached our boots". This is implying that nature is going against the children and fighting back, using the briars and wet grass to bleach and scratch their boots, as trying to stop the children from raping and pillaging the berries away from it. The children even took berries that were unripe, "With green ones". This heavily suggests greed, as they are even hoarding the berries that aren't ripe yet. "On top big dark blobs burned like a plate of eyes", the use of the word "burned" is suggesting pain, torment and hell felt by the berries, also it is as if the berries are accusing the children of murder, watching them like a plate of eyes. You know that the children feel a sense of guilt after picking so many berries, after their hands are full of thorn pricks and stained with berry juice. ...read more.

Conclusion

Just like how long and painful the process of picking the blackberries are, how they got their hands full of thorn pricks. Then after a short while, the berries start to rot, and the "sweet flesh" of the berries would turn sour. Heaney writes this poem to reveal that life is about disappointment, and that good things won't last, while relating it back to a childhood event of his past. It is also about growing up, and ageing, as we get the contrast of the adults and childrens view in the last stanza. I found this poem very enjoyable and interesting to study, because when I was reading the poem, it almost felt like I could taste the blackberries. I like his use of figurative language, especially the way he described the berries. Another reason why I liked this poem is because I like the way Heaney uses past events of his life to express certain ideas about life. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Seamus Heaney section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Seamus Heaney essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Analyse how Seamus Heaney uses language to convey his childhood experiences to the reader ...

    3 star(s)

    This is first seen in "Death of a Naturalist". In the first verse the child is fascinated by the frogs, but this changes dramatically in the 2nd verse as his views change fascination to fear and disgust. I think that the poet does this to show us that the boy is growing up.

  2. Explore Heaney's Presentation Of The Irish Conflict In, "Whatever You Say, Say Nothing"

    The final section begins with Heaney distancing himself, "from a dewy motorway", and now he is a sense of reflection. This section is much shorter to the rest. This can be for the reason that Heaney explores the internment camp of prisoners and it can even be said that the

  1. Seamus Heaney.

    In 1975 North was published, winning the E.M. Forster Award and the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. During these years at Glanmore, Heaney also gave many readings in the United States and England and edited two poetry anthologies. In 1975 Heaney began teaching at Carysfort College in Dublin.

  2. Explore how Heaney writes about suffering in 'Bye-Child' and in one other poem of ...

    The 'silence' is also an indication of how the child is also suffering in silence. Heaney blames his horrific treatment due to religion by the use of religious terms, 'vigils', 'solitudes' and 'fasts'. These religious terms indicate just how the young boy has been forced to follow and suffer as a result of the uncompromising rules of his mother's faith.

  1. Blackberry Picking vs. Ancient Photograph.

    The poet describes how he and his family used to go blackberry picking all together. After they had collected berries, the family could and would be able to make jam or juice out of the berries and I presume that this tradition was strongly kept through centuries of their existence.

  2. What influence of history can be seen in Seamus Heaney's work?

    Those that died Heaney refers to as 'Terraced' perhaps because of the sloping side of the hill, which meant that those fighting would have been raised above one another on levels of land. Here Heaney imparts the bravery of those standing up against the cavalry.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work