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Comparative Analysis of Heaney’s Blackberry Picking and Dharker’s Blessing

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Words: 1035 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Aug 6, 2021

Words: 1035|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Aug 6, 2021

“Blackberry Picking” by Seamus Heaney and “Blessing” by Imtiaz Dharker are the two poems I chose for analysis. Poetry is a form of art people use to express the significant moments in their life, however, the diverse perspective, techniques, and more importantly, experience make each poem stands out from one another. In “Blackberry Picking”, Seamus Heaney describes a childhood memory from summer about picking blackberry to symbolise the transition from childhood to adulthood. In “Blessing”, Imtiaz Dharker accentuates the value of water by reflecting the desired expressions upon people. In this essay, I will discuss the techniques they used to make the poems effective.

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In “Blackberry Picking” by Seamus Heaney, the poet describes a childhood memory during the summer in Ireland. Heaney uses a variety of similes to portray the excitement he has for blackberry picking. “Like thickened wine; summer’s blood was in it”, in this sentence Heaney compared the ripen blackberry to “thickened wine” and “summer’s blood”. I think the word “wine” illustrates the richness of the juice of blackberry and also how intensely desirable it is like wine. The idea of the craving continues after the sentence, the next two lines say, “Leaving stains upon the tongue, and lust for picking” and “Then red ones inked up and that hunger sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots”. “Leaving stains upon the tongue”, vivid imagery is used to show the “lust for picking” after having a taste of the rich, juicy berries, and so they use all the containers to collect the berries. I think the word “lust” and “hunger” are some significant nouns that strongly emphasise on their cravings.

In the second stanza, there is a change in the tone of the language. Heaney talks about how all the berries they preserve in the byre start to ferment. “A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache”, in this line Heaney used the rat to describe the grey colour of the fungus, this sets the disturbed mood in the language as a rat is often associated with filth and unpleasantness. In this stanza, the poet also uses contrast and alliteration to strengthen the change in tone of the language. “The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour”, in this line alliteration is used on “fruit”, ”fermented” and “sweet”, ”sour”. I think they make the overall expression that Heaney is trying to illustrate clearer. “Sweet” and “sour” are also contrasting, that helps the readers to compare the first stanza and second stanza. I think in “Blackberry Picking”, Seamus Heaney is trying to convey a disappointed feeling of despising how hard Heaney tries to keep them, know they don’t last. I think as a reader this poem also portrays a deeper message of the transition from a pure and joyful childhood to cruel and depressing adulthood. In here blackberry symbolises childhood, it’s full of fun and sweetness, however, these berries don’t last forever. “Each year I hope they’d keep, know they would not”, this shows that as Heaney grows up, he still hopes to stay as a child although he knows time doesn’t pause.

The other poem I chose is “Blessing” by Imtiaz Dharker. The poet emphasises on the value of water around her home in India. In the first lines, Dharker opens up by using simile to tell the readers the lack of water around where she lives, “The skin cracks like a pod”, using simile to describe the crackling skin caused by dehydration. The next line Dharker says “there is never enough water” to concisely state the depiction of her story.

In the next stanza, Dharker uses sensory language and metaphors to emphasise the “blessing” of having water. “Imagine the drip of it, the small splash, echo in a tin mug, the voice of a kindly god” which refers to how empty the tin usually is that even a tiny drop can make an echo in the tin mug. The use of a tin mug also indicates hardship, in movies, homelessness is often seen to use tin mugs for begging, so it gives the readers an image of the impoverished position she is in. In the line “The voice of a kindly god”, the word “god” isn’t capitalized because it doesn’t indicate to a certain religion, it is more of the celestial character of water that affects people beyond the differences in religions and more.

Imtiaz Dharker also uses personification to highlight water. “Silver crashes to the ground and the flow has found a roar to the tongue”, in here water is metaphorized as “silver” which illustrates an image of the glimmery and precious water, this helps the readers to see from her perspective of how valuable water is. “Flow has found a roar to the tongue”, the flow of water has been personified to suggest this lively figure of water which I also think reflects back on the use of “god” in the last stanza. The use of “roar” in the sentence also suggests that wild and excited feeling like an animal when Dharker and other people see water. Personification can also be seen in the last stanza where Dharker says, “as the blessing sings over their small bones”. I think this is the most important line of the poem, “blessing” is be personified which cohesively reprise with “the voice of a kindly god” from the second stanza to enhance this heavenly sound as the water drips down to the ground. Under the joyful tone of this line, I think there is an irony that Dharker is conveying. “Small bones” suggests fragility and instability, once the pipes are fixed, there won’t be enough water again, this “blessing” isn’t the savior that will help them out of poverty and the shortage of water. This poem is like a journey down Imtiaz Dharker’s story, we first understand the life quality of her childhood and get to see the joy upon people when they finally get water, but under this happiness, we all know that this doesn’t last forever.

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In conclusion, both Seamus Heaney and Imtiaz Dharker make their poems effective by the personal perspective they put the readers in and the techniques to vividly tell a story that make us feel closer to them and their difficulties in life. 

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Comparative Analysis Of Heaney’s Blackberry Picking And Dharker’s Blessing. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-heaneys-blackberry-picking-and-dharkers-blessing/
“Comparative Analysis Of Heaney’s Blackberry Picking And Dharker’s Blessing.” GradesFixer, 06 Aug. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-heaneys-blackberry-picking-and-dharkers-blessing/
Comparative Analysis Of Heaney’s Blackberry Picking And Dharker’s Blessing. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-heaneys-blackberry-picking-and-dharkers-blessing/> [Accessed 22 Feb. 2024].
Comparative Analysis Of Heaney’s Blackberry Picking And Dharker’s Blessing [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Aug 06 [cited 2024 Feb 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-heaneys-blackberry-picking-and-dharkers-blessing/
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