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Seamus Heaney and Sylvia Plath both approach death and ageing in their poems. Seamus Heaney wrote a poem about blackberry picking.

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Introduction

Seamus Heaney and Sylvia Plath both approach death and ageing in their poems. Seamus Heaney wrote a poem about blackberry picking. It has a meaning to it. It explains in his words how things age and die. I shall refer another Seamus Heaney poem and two of Sylvia Plath's poems to "Blackberry Picking." Seamus Heaney's poem "Blackberry Picking" is about a child's point of view of how everything ages. We know it is a child's point of few by parts of the poem "our palms sticky as Bluebeard's". With these five words it can be noticed that the poem is situated in the 1920's, as Bluebeard was a child's fictional character from pirate stories. Also, it being a pirate character, it can be said that it is allegedly a boy's point of view. Seamus Heaney's poem "Blackberry Picking" has many words in which he uses to describe the berries. Some of these words are parts of the human body. Such as "its flesh was sweet" and "summer's blood was in it" or "Like a plate of eyes." All these personification words show that Seamus is trying to refer his poem to the life of humans. "For a full week, the berries would ripen." This quote is found on the second line of the first stanza. ...read more.

Middle

Just like the last line of "Blackberry Picking" where the child's disappointment is at its most "Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not". In "Mid-Term Break" the final line cuts the poem off and Heaney leaves us to reflect ourselves on the sense of loss, suddenness of death and the blow of the family. You are also left feeling the boy's memories and sadness of his lost brother: A four foot box, a foot for every year. "Blackberrying" by Sylvia Plath has many similarities to Seamus Heaney's poem "Blackberry Picking". They are both to do with picking blackberries and gathering them in containers "They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle," and Heaney's poem saying "Sent us out with milk-cans, pea-tins, jam-pots". Also, both poems come to a disappointing end. Both poems use dark rich colours to express the blackberries, as Plath speaks of them being "blue-red" and Heaney describes them as "glossy purple". Like Heaney's version Plath speaks of the Blackberries metaphorically as blood but calls it the juice: With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers. I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me. They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides. Just like the blackberries in Heaney's poem, which sacrificed themselves for him, Plath's blackberries take a noble death for her "I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me." ...read more.

Conclusion

Also Plath includes some contrasts between light and darkness and contrasts between love and dislike. She uses these to make it more interesting and strengthens the poem. It makes it more emotional. The contrasts also connect with the idea of the poem; being young (good) and turning old (bad) e.g light (good), darkness (bad), love (good) and dislike (bad.) In conclusion all of the four poems are about disappointment in life. How everything in life starts on a good quality side but always seems to turn bad. This seems to be the imagery of each poem; the contrast between good and bad. The poets Seamus Heaney and Sylvia Plath try to give an imagery to the reader that all life becomes depressing according to most of their own experiences. As most of the poems do seem to be from their own experiences. Even "Mirror" can be said that it is Plath's own experience of looking in the mirror everyday. "Blackberrying" could be a metaphor of Plath loosing her loved ones. Heaney's "Blackberry Picking" could be his own experience of others lying to him about growing old and dying. "Mid-Term Break" could be the loss of a loved one when Heaney was younger; just like Plath's "Blackberrying". Polly Daniels Describe and discuss how the poets Seamus Heaney and Sylvia Plath approach the themes of ageing and death in their poetry by referring to "Blackberry Picking" in contrast to other poems by Plath and Heaney ...read more.

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