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Coursework Compare ‘Blackberry-Picking’ and ‘Death of a Naturalist’ By Seamus Heaney.

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Introduction

Coursework COMPARE 'BLACKBERRY-PICKING' AND 'DEATH OF A NATURALIST' By Seamus Heaney. I am going to compare the poems, 'Blackberry-Picking' and 'Death of a Naturalist' to see whether they are similar. I will study the main themes of both poems and look for any similarities between them. I will also look at the way in which they have been written, analysing their layout, content and imagery to see if there is any consistency in the poems. By doing this I hope to be able to find out whether these two poems are similar or in fact totally different. The themes of the poems are similar because they are both about the innocence of childhood and the fact that when you are young everything is simple. 'Blackberry-Picking' is about the innocence of childhood and that this innocence and youthfulness doesn't last forever. This is indicated by the lines in the last verse 'we hoarded the berries in the byre. But when the bath was filled we found fur'. These lines are very descriptive because they are saying that the fresh berries don't last and will eventually wrinkle and turn mouldy. ...read more.

Middle

'Blackberry-Picking' and 'Death of a Naturalist' both contain four verses, however the latter has a much longer first verse and over all is greater in length. Both poems start off talking about happy things but they then turn to a more depressing theme. Perhaps the writer wanted them to be set out like this to end the poems on a bad note ensuring that the harsh facts would stick in the reader's mind longer than the pleasant things. 'Blackberry-Picking's last letter of the final word in a line usually makes the same sound as the last letter of the next line. There are a few exceptions but mostly this is true. The third and fourth and the last two lines rhyme properly. There is no consistency in the number of lines per verse and each verse has varying numbers. The language used in 'Blackberry-Picking' is complicated and it is not easy to see the true meaning of the poem at first glance. However after careful observation it is possible to see the hidden meaning. The language, once understood, is very powerful and descriptive. 'Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it.' ...read more.

Conclusion

This poem is equally detailed, however its imagery is descriptive rather than comparing images by use of similes. 'Bubbles gargled delicately' is emotionally powerful because the poet is using adjectives to paint the images. 'Blackberry-Picking' has captured equally the emotion however it uses similes rather than adjectives. Both poems have very powerful, emotional and moving words and both create both light and dark images but they both do this in different ways. Overall I feel that these two poems are similar in some ways because they are both portraying the innocence of childhood and how youth does not stay forever. However they portray this in different ways. 'Blackberry-Picking' uses the subject of ageing and the fact that everyone ages. 'Death of a Naturalist' uses the subject of sexual relationships saying that no one can remain young and eventually they will grow up and have to face fears and horrors. The language is different because 'Blackberry-Picking' uses similes and compares things to others but 'Death of a Naturalist' uses adjectives to describe things that are easier to understand. They both, however, have imaginative and moving images, both starting with positive ones that turn to negative. The way these two poets have approached the subject matter is very different but they both still have the same underlying meaning contrasting light and dark, idealism and reality. ...read more.

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