Figurative Language In Blackberry-Picking

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The poem “Blackberry-Picking” by Seamus Heaney describes the fragility of life and the finite amount of time we have before all good things must end. The poem conveys this message with the use of symbolism and similes. At the beginning of the poem, the author utilizes similes to describe the plump and lush blackberries the narrator encounters and enjoys. He remarks how the blackberries were “hard as a knot” and “like thickened wine.” The author uses this figurative language in the first paragraph to compare when the blackberries were plentiful and ripe to the narrator who was youthful and full of promise. The similes are then noticeably missing in the second stanza, highlighting the shift from the author’s adolescence to a time when he “hoarded” the sweet flesh like the most valuable jewels to try to remain in his prime days for as long as possible before it “would turn sour.” This clarifies to the reader that something inherently important to the narrator, his youth, eventually fermented and rotted away just like the blackberries. This…show more content…
At the beginning of the poem, the author describes the “green hard as a knot” berries to remark on a time when he too was “green” and inexperienced in life. Then over time, the berries ripened, like the narrator, and he developed a “lust” and a “hunger” that he would go to great lengths to satisfy. The narrator matured and began to hunger for human comfort and “flesh” before it “would turn sour,” instead of just the blackberries. Eventually the narrator realizes that blackberries would soon rot and he as well would lose some of his vitality so he “hoarded the fresh berries” to try to hold on to the good days before they began to “ferment” and “rot.” This reveals to the reader that desperation of the narrator to maintain his youth for as long as possible even though he knew that it “ would not
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