This poignant dichotomy is seen explicitly in two poems in Seamus Heaney’s Field Work. One poem, “The Strand at Lough Beg” is written for “Heaney’s cousin Colum McCartney (ambushed and shot in a sectarian killing)” and is rich with pastoral scenery, dark tones, and religious imagery (Vendler 60). Another poem, “A Postcard from North Antrim” is about “his friend the social worker Sean Armstrong (shot by a ‘pointblank teatime bullet’)” (Vendler 60). These two elegies, both with a strong presence of Heaney’s personal voice, are imbued with a sort of ambiguity as Heaney struggles with the death of two people who were both very close to him. In both poems, Heaney “tries to converse with and question the dead” in an attempt to rationalize, or at least display his sentiments on the untimely deaths (Parker 159). It is interesting to watch Heaney oscillate in imagery, tone and diction as he progresses through both poems. This wavering can be seen as a result of Heaney’s background.
First element that Heaney uses is diction, it is simple but effective. Diction is word choice, or the style of speaking that a writer, speaker, or character uses. For instance at the end of the poem he says “Between my finger and my thumb / The squat pen rests. / I’ll dig with it” (Heaney 29-31). The diction he uses is simple but it is effective in proving his point of view that he won’t dig with a shovel but instead he’ll use a pen.
Heaney continues to do this by glorifying the frogspawn, using alliteration “jam pots of the jellied specks”. This creates a soft and gentle rhythm for the reader, portraying Heaney’s fascination with nature a child.
The Use of Metaphor and Imagery in Galway Kinnell's Poem, Blackberry Eating Written in 1980, Galway Kinnell's Blackberry Eating is a poem which creates a strong metaphoric relationship between the tangible objects of blackberries, and the intangible objects of words. The speaker of the poem feels a strong attraction to the sensory characteristics (the touch, taste, and look) of blackberries. The attraction he feels at the beginning of the poem exclusively for blackberries is paralleled in the end by his appetite and attraction to words. The rush the speaker gets out of blackberry eating is paralleled to the enjoyment he finds in thinking about certain words; words which call up the same sensory images the blackberries embody.
A Comparison of Death of a Naturalist and Digging by Seamus Heaney The poems 'Death of a Naturalist' and 'Digging' have many similarities, and contrasts. Some of the reoccurring themes in the two poems include memories of childhood and changes in the life of
Blackberry Picking 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, 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 raping 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 hell 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 pricks and stained with berry juice. “palms sticky as Bluebeard’s” – this reference to Bluebeard says that their hands are covered in berry juice, like blood, as Bluebeard had with the blood of his wives. The second stanza describes how the berries die and rot, “lovely canfuls smelt of rot”. The “rat-grey fungus” had consumed the berries, and “summer’s blood” had turned into stinking juice. You can feel the disappointment - “I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair”, you can tell this is the voice of a child. There is also a
Emily Martin Mrs. Rogers L202 Period 2 15 February 2018 The Sting of Society In Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Blackberries,” a youthful speaker seems to be living past the boundaries of city life and exhibits qualities of rural living. The poem tells of the speaker’s adventure of picking blackberries from a thicket and encountering the duality of
As evident by the title of this poem, imagery is a strong technique used in this poem as the author describes with great detail his journey through a sawmill town. This technique is used most in the following phrases: “...down a tilting road, into a distant valley.” And “The sawmill towns, bare hamlets built of boards with perhaps a store”. This has the effect of creating an image in the reader’s mind and making the poem even more real.
In the poem Beowulf (Norton, 36), translated by Seamus Heaney, cultural elements of how religion in the Middle Ages is shifting away from Paganism and into Christianity. When Beowulf was written, approximately 700 – 1000 AD, religion was changing from a nature based polytheistic belief to a monotheistic religion with a central authority. Because of this change in belief, the audience can see the troubled thought or doubt in Christianity. Heaney uses the characters to display both pagan and Christian ideals together with the chaotic monsters and the heroic savior through allusions.
Imagery and Irony in Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish” Small details are instrumental in seeing the bigger picture. This is apparent when reading “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop. Most often the reader experiences visual imagery in poetry. In this poem the reader encounters visual, auditory, and sensory imagery. “The Fish” is filled with minute details that paint a picture for the reader. With each new element that is introduced, it becomes easier to visualize the fish. The speaker is able to show the reader the beauty as well as the ugliness of this creature with her vivid imagery. The imagery used is so distinct that the reader can envisage being the fisherman and catching this fish. Another important element involved in this poem is irony.
This is particularly evident within drifters were a families sense of identity is continuously hampered by their nomadic lifestyle with they must embrace as itinerant workers. Throughout the poem, the blackberry bush is constantly referred to as a symbol of hope that the family would settle into one location “when they came here, she held out her hand bright with berries”. The use of such a symbol brings to light the similarity between the drifter’s erratic life journey and the blackberry bush. As the family move into a town they begin to embrace there environment, only to end the experience as quickly as it began similarly to the blackberry bushes cycle of growth and ‘bright berries’ only to wither and die. This ultimately displays the emotional obstacles within a physical journey that reinforces our inner strength. Furthermore, the negative and positive aspects of the journey of life experienced by the characters are highlighted through the juxtaposing of the girls reaction to the decision to move, “the oldest girl was close to tear/ the youngest girl was beaming”. The positive element of the a family being an individual’s sense of support and identity is vaguely portrayed, however the overwhelming negative sense that such a family provides and undesirable predetermined script of one’s life is emphasised as in this instance it has impeded on the girls growth. This ultimately increases the responder’s awareness of the underlying emotional journey within every physical journey, increasing the inner strength of those that choose to take such
The poem "Blackberries" by Yusef Komunyakaa, tells the story of a carefree young boy who enjoys spending his past time picking blackberries in the forest, until he is confronted with the reality of his obvious lack. Yusef Komunyakaa effectively uses symbolism and figurative language to demonstrate man's conflict with
Blackberry picking by Seamus Heaney is about time, gluttony, limitations of life, and to some extent, the struggles of life. Heaney writes retrospectively about his life, with hindsight, about how he as a child, would go blackberry picking during a particular time of year.
Analysis of Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney Once the reader can passes up the surface meaning of the poem Blackberry-Picking, by Seamus Heaney, past the emotional switch from sheer joy to utter disappointment, past the childhood memories, the underlying meaning can be quite disturbing. Hidden deep within the happy-go-lucky rifts of childhood is a disturbing tale of greed and murder. Seamus Heaney, through clever diction, ghastly imagery, misguided metaphors and abruptly changing forms, ingeniously tells the tale that is understood and rarely spoken aloud.
All poetry aims to communicate an experience; a body of memory, sensation, or wisdom that contributes significant meaning to the life of a poet and of all human beings. It is the mystery of literature that one may speak of a single, physical incident, yet draw deep universal conclusions from it. Like the Christian dogma of the Word made Flesh, the Christ both fully mortal and fully divine, the best of poetry dwells paradoxically in the realms of both literal and figurative. Seamus Heaney's poem, Blackberry-Picking, exhibits a precise, elegant poetic technique that permits such a simultaneous existence. Through his use of overt religious allusions, intense, metaphorical imagery, and sharply contrasting symbols, Heaney reveals a young protagonist's journey from childhood to adulthood, or in essence, immaturity to maturity, with a focus on the speaker’s reconciliation with an inconvenient yet inevitable truth - in essence, creating a Bildungsroman.