Seamus wine: summer’s blood was in it.” The choice

Seamus Heany’s “Blackberry Picking” portrays a fond childhood memory of picking blackberries. Heany conveys a deeper, emotional meaning through the use of imagery and diction. The speaker’s use of imagery creates a vivid memory of excitement and eagerness. He describes how he would see the berries “at first, just one, glossy purple clot among others, red, green, hard as a knot.” This brief sentence resembles that of an eager child; furthermore, he makes note of how he and his friends would pick the berries in fields “where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots” and by the end of the day, their hands were “peppered with thorn pricks.” Despite picking the berries for presumably hours and being pricked by thorns, the speaker still took pleasure in berry picking. Alongside the imagery, the use of diction also contributes to the fond memory. The speaker details the first ripe berry as “sweet like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it.” The choice of the words “like thickened wine” symbolizes the pleasure that the speaker experienced each year from berry picking. The phrase “summer’s blood was in it” also contributes by personifying the summer experience as being brought to life through the harvesting. Overall, these phrases allow the reader to feel the pleasure and disappointment of the speaker-whom reveals that “each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not” which emphasizes how much the speaker loved the experience and wished it to last longer. Although the event was over, he could still look back and remember the fondness he experienced.The overall use of imagery and diction recreated a fond memory and the speaker’s desire for it to continue. The speaker was clearly passionate about picking blackberries based on his vivid description of the eagerness he experienced. In the end, the excitement ceased when the berries rotted and the speaker had to wait until next year for the next harvest; however, through his disappointment, the speaker emphasizes on a message of remembering the goodness of the past and perhaps even repeating it to remember the experience.