Theme Of Blackberry Picking By Seamus Heaney

Decent Essays
Seamus Heaney’s “Blackberry Picking,” recounts a journey that starts with the luscious taste of a blackberry, sparking a “lust” (Line 7) in the speaker to go pick more. Nevertheless, such a journey is ended with the “cache” (Line 19) of blackberries rotting, yet he still continuously picks more every year with the same outcome, giving a false sense of hope to the speaker. Heaney can convey a strong image of what it’s like to pick blackberries, and he can also portray the personal feelings of the entire experience through his use of sensory language and strong imagery. The language Heaney uses, in “Blackberry Picking”, expresses the intimacy the speaker has with the taste of the blackberries, producing a visual bond with the characteristics of the berry. Heaney uses seductive language, such as describing the taste as “thickened wine” (Line 6) enough to give a sensation of “lust” (Line 7) for wanting to pick more. The blackberries are innate with “summer’s blood” (Line 6) which “stains” (Line 7) the mouth with…show more content…
It starts off with, “our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s” (Line 16), a reference that is naturally negative, since the use of Bluebeard as a descriptive word for the stickiness gushing out from the blackberries will only entail an undesirable outcome. Soon after the speaker brings the “fresh berries in the byre” (Line 17), does he witness the tragic sight of “fur” (Line 18) growing all over the berries. Additionally, there are several sensory stimulating phrases— “rat-grey fungus”, “sweet flesh would turn sour”, “canfuls smelt of rot”, “fruit fermented”—which are used to convey the horror that emanates from the berries. These phrases powerfully communicate a strong feeling of disgust, accompanied by an even stronger feeling of disappointment. The long journey of picking the ripen “dark blobs” (Line 14) from the patches, is wasted in the end due to the rotten
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