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Word Count: 1,113
Seamus Heaney is a contemporary Irish poet As soon as he published Death of a Naturalist in 1966 it was acclaimed as a great work of literature This collection revolves around childhood the loss of innocence and the transition from childhood to adulthood We also have a glimpse of Heaneys distorted view of nature his fascination and yet the hostility it radiates In Death of a naturalist and Blackberry Picking he explores the theme of nature Blackberry Picking gives a vivid account of picking blackberries But the poem is has an underlying meaning It is really about hope and despair and how things never quite live up to our expectations and thus blackberry picking becomes a metaphor for other experiences The poem is separated into two distinct sections The first stanza depicts the picking from appearance of the first fruit to the frenzy of activity as the fruit ripens and the enjoyment he gets from this All the senses are awakened as there is a lot of texture such as a glossy purple clot and colours red green The tasting of the blackberry is presented as a sensual pleasure when he refers to sweet flesh summers blood and lust The enthusiasm of the collectors is suggested by the line Sent us out with milk cans pea tins jam pots There are also references to blood clot summers blood big dark blobs burned like a plate of eyes foreshadowing the unpleasant turn in the second stanza The poets hands were sticky as Bluebeards whose hands were covered with the blood of his wives The second stanza concerns the attempt to preserve the berries and its failure While in the first stanza we had a positive view of nature the second stanza brings us back to reality that all good things have an end and that even the most luscious berries will ferment and rot The ripeness of the fruits is contrasted when it quickly becomes
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