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Blackberry Picking Higher English Essay

In: English and Literature

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Blackberry Picking – Critical essay Chris Inglis

‘Choose a poem in which there is a noticeable change of mood at more than one point of the poem. Show how the poet conveys the change(s) of mood and discuss the importance of the change(s) to the central idea of the poem.’

The poem “Blackberry Picking” by Seamus Heaney is based around the poet’s memories as a child going out in rural Ireland to pick as many blackberries as possible. The poem displays an excited and nostalgic mood throughout the first stanza, but a turning point occurs at the start of the second stanza which changes the central idea of the poem from hope to disappointment.

The poem’s opening lines gives the reader an idea of the time of year Heaney embarked on his quest to find the berries a very peaceful atmosphere is created kas the mixture of rain and sun required for the berries to ripen is detailed, as well as the amount of time the children put into the picking.
“Late August, given heavy rain and sun, for a full week the blackberries would ripen.”
The time of year suggests that going out blackberry picking will be the poet’s last ‘adventure’ before returning to school; this fills Heaney with excitement. The contrasting weather shows that it was a real occasion for the berries to ripen, which added to the poet’s excitement. Word choice of “full week” emphasises the period of time the children went out picking berries for, they used the entirety of the time available to them.

The excitement of the first stanza only heightens as it continues. However, the reader first picks up a slightly darker theme creeping into the poem. This is the first sign of a slightly sinful side to what the children were doing.
“You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet, like thickened wine”
The second person narrative directs the idea towards the reader and gives them a sense of exactly…...

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