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


Extracts from this document...


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.


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 r****g 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 h**l 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 p****s and stained with berry juice. ...read more.


Just like how long and painful the process of picking the blackberries are, how they got their hands full of thorn p****s. 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)

    once again his pulse rate as it would become faster as he becomes more excited. The poet also uses another example of tripling in this poem. I think it once again it has a more simple feel to it. It almost gives the impression that the boy is very relaxed.

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

    were under siege, again expressing anger at the unfairness of the situation. The idea that he compares it to the Trojan war which entailed trickery, showing the deception of the conflict, shows how it is just a constant battle, that it cannot be escaped.

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

    This is a clear indication, like 'Bye-Child' of the suffering faced by children born out of wedlock of the time. In the second stanza, Heaney describes the act as 'a small one thrown back to the waters'. This again shows the unwanted presence of the child, and the neglect he

  2. 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.

  1. Seamus Heaney.

    Be it a harvest bow or a formal elegy, "The end of art is peace." Further explorations of Heaney's thoughts on his own poetry can be found in his two collections of essays, the previously mentioned Preoccupations and The Government of the Tongue.

  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.

  1. Compare and contrast the treatment of emigration and rural life in “The Country Boy” ...

    either of the two fathers are ready to hand over to their sons, and while Curly and Gar are both still working for their fathers, they will never have their independence. They will never have their own lives. They will never be free.

  2. In what ways do these two poets tell their stories so that readers will ...

    We also see that he "pretends his needful duty". He is hiding away and his stature has shrunk. His needful duty is to feel sorry for the people and to have a look of regret on his face but as we know, this is just pretend and Paudeen Dhu does not care for these people who are about to be evicted.

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