Blackberry Picking

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  • Created by: qwerty86
  • Created on: 25-01-15 19:16
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  • Blackberry Picking
    • The second part of the poem comments on how the blackberries never last as they begin to decay quickly
    • The picking of the blackberries and the inevitable process of decay becomes ametaphor for other experiences
    • The speaker describes how, as a child, he  always felt  like crying" when he found that the blackberries were ruined as, "it wasn’t fair".
    • The change of tone in the second section is achieved through the contrasting language in this part of the poem.
    • The sensuous descriptive language in the first section "a glossy purple clot/its flesh was sweet"  changes to imagery  conveying revulsion and disgust at "‘A rat-grey fungus’".
    • Heaney’s use of  onomatopoeic verbs such as "glutting"  and   "stinking"  continue this sense of repulsion.
    • The slow rhythm  creates a reflective tone
      • The speaker is looking back from an adult perspective at the lessons learnt about hope and disappointment.
    • He uses sensuous  imagery to describe the blackberry picking
    • Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills/We trekked and picked until the cans were full"
      • The characteristic use of countryside imagery sets the scene as the speaker shows the children’s enthusiasm by describing how far they wander as they search.
    • The speaker is foreshadowing disappointment and pain with the use of more violent imagery
    • The speaker’s  tone changes and this is shown through the contrasting imagery and language.
    • Experience teaches us that things do not always turn out as we hope or expect.
    • By the end of the poem we see the disappointment that the speaker experiences when he writes in a childlike manner and structure
    • "Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not"
      • Spoken from the point of view of the adult speaker
      • Even having learned the reality of disappointment, we still harbour a certain optimism that things will turn out as we hope.
    • Delightful childhood memory of blackberry picking contrasted with the decaying fruit at the end is a metaphor for the idea that pleasure and happiness are short-lived.
    • The poem could represent the loss of childhood innocence on entering adulthood.

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