How do I conclude my essay about the poem "Blackberry-Picking" by Seamus Heaney? (Due September 6, 2011)?
Several lessons can be learned from this poem. The first is that good things never last. This lesson can be applied to any aspect of life, such as marriage, weather, and perishable foods. These are all considered “good” because of the following reasons. First, marriage is a byproduct of love, which produces positive feelings; however, many marriages do not succeed and often end in divorce. Second, the weather never stays the same. Although we may like it when the sun is shining brightly and there are no clouds or rain in the sky, this condition is only temporary. Rain will come, sometimes causing floods; snowstorms and blizzards will come, in most places causing schools and entire cities to shut down; tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters may come, causing massive destruction in their wake. Third and finally, natural and organic foods can rot quickly. They are beneficial because they are better for our bodies than processed foods, but because there are no preservatives, they do not last as long as processed foods do. This is exhibited in the blackberry poem. However, other morals are more practical.
The second lesson we can learn from this poem is that when living things are taken out of their natural habitats, they cannot survive. This is because they have been adapted for life in a certain habitat, such as tropical, arctic, or arid. If animals from one of these climates are transferred to another, they will keep dying until they develop genes of immunity after becoming accustomed to their new environments. In Heaney’s poem, the blackberries were moved from their bushes to the byre, they could not survive, because “heavy rain and sun”, which caused the berries to ripen, were not there.
The final lesson is that when we rush to get something, it will not last. In Blackberry-Picking, Heaney writes:
“You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet/ Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it/ Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for picking/ Then red ones inked up and that hunger/ Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots/ Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots./ Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills/ We trekked and picked until the cans were full,/ Until the tinkling bottom had been covered/ With green ones, and on top big blobs burned/ Like a plate of eyes.”
In this part of the poem, the family rushed to pick the blackberries because they wanted to hurry and savor the summer. Because they were in a rush, they “hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.” Later on, they found the berries had spoiled.