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Blackberry Picking vs. Ancient Photograph.

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Blackberry Picking vs. Ancient Photograph Mirdza Abele The poem "Blackberry picking" is mainly about four things, which are picking blackberries, family tradition, life and death and childhood experiences. Referring to blackberry picking, Heaney describes blackberry picking using such words and combination of phrases that just by reading the poem it makes the reader think and feel as though he/she is there, picking berries with the writer. In other words Heaney makes us live out the experience of picking blackberries. The poet compares blackberries to life cycle and death. He manages that by referring to our senses, which are smell, taste, touch, sight and sound. He uses our senses to make us live out the blackberry picking, as well. As an example of him using our senses to get to the point he wants us to get it: "...juice was stinking too." This is referring to our smell sense. Heaney, using the senses, compares blackberries to a life cycle and to life and death. We can see that when he describes that and how the blackberries rot: "but when the bath was filled, we found a fur, a rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache." This sentence refers to death. However to be able to contrast the two main happening in life, Heaney, at the beginning of the poem describes how good are the blackberries: " Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it." ...read more.


Heaney describes fully the photograph including details such as how does the great grandfather stand and how does he look like. In the photograph Heaney mentions that there is also his father standing there. Once again the poet uses our senses to makes us feel as though we are looking at the photograph of Heaney's great grandfather, at the same time as Heaney himself is doing that. As an example of the description of Heaney's great grandfather is: " Jaws puff round and solid as a turnip..." The poet also mentions that in the end, when he takes the picture of the wall all that is left is a faded patch on the wall exactly where the photo used to stand: "...there is a faded patch where he has been..." Similar to the poem of "Blackberry picking," in this poem as in all of them there is a piece of family tradition, in this case it is more specified, it is an occupation passed down from centuries of the family existence. Every man in the Heaney's family used to be a cattlemen, except Heaney himself. When the poet says: "...there is a faded patch where he has been," he also describes that after the death of his father there was nobody to continue the family occupation, so it is compared to a faded patch on the wall. ...read more.


As to conclude I would say that these two poems are very similar and very deep. I can barely find any differences in the main ideas and that only shows us that Heaney mostly writes about the things that are very important to him, involving all of them in each and every poem as much as he can. In both poems Heaney used senses as the main source of imagery, to make us be there at blackberry picking with him and to make us see the portrait of his uncle as if it was just there in front of us. In the poem about picking blackberries Heaney uses sibilance to describe the blackberries at the time of picking, however he doesn't do that in the poem about the photograph. In the blackberry poem, the poet uses long and big word to make the poem sound more fulfilled just like the bushes full of juicy blackberries. However in the poem about the photo, Heaney uses mixed length of words, in each sentence it is different. In both poems Heaney uses mixed rhythm and both poems rhyme very well: "back smack, rot not and clot knot." Also both poems contain enormous amount of half rhymes such as: " cache bush, turnip, lip and been skin. " Especially the half rhyme mostly is used in the "Ancestral Photograph." Because the rhythm doesn't follow any particular patter could be referred to the particular moment, for an example if something stops, the rhythm slows down, as soon as something accelerates, so does the rhythm. ...read more.

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