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Poems' Comparison

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Poets create wonderful worlds with their words; they turn simple things into magic what can be easily seen by reading their works. Two famous poets, Galway Kinnell and Seamus Heaney, do original interpretation of blackberry eating and picking. Their poetry is a great example of turning simple natural happening into the metaphor for something deeper.

Although both Kinnell and Heaney write about blackberries, there could hardly be poems less similar than these two. Heaney’s poem called “Blackberry Picking” is about the author’s memories as a child when he was picking blackberries in the late August (Heaney). Heaney speaks about his love to pick blackberries, his excitement when he did that and his sadness when blackberries became rotten. This is a great metaphor of time; it runs so quickly that we cannot hold on and stop for a minute, we cannot remain the way we were forever, and we cannot make beautiful things and happy moments last forever. The ability to realize the rigor of time is something that makes us adults; we understand that life is unfair because it gives us so little time, but we have to enjoy and cherish all worthy moments of it. Heaney uses blackberries as a symbol of his childhood; the picking is something long gone, but not forgotten. Picking blackberries is a wonderful memory that reminds people how quickly time runs, and it makes readers upset because they emphasize with the author and feel his pain and sorrow. On the other hand, it makes the readers feel life as it is and enjoy magical moments of it while they can. Things are beautiful because they cannot last forever; if they were timeless, people would not value them enough and would not be able to enjoy them fully.


On the contrary, Kinnell creates absolutely different picture with his work. His poem is called “Blackberry Eating.” In this work, the author creates allusion; he compares the process of eating blackberries to the process of creating words and compositions (Kinnell). Wonderful play on words helps the author to paint an image of blackberry eating season; the reader feels as if he was eating blackberries himself. On the other hand, blackberries are the symbol of literature, of creating new worlds and realities with words, of being original and inspiring. Kinnell’s work is an ode dedicated to art, to the spiritual side of human nature, to creativity and talent. Readers share the feelings with the author; they emphasize his emotions of being able to write. Words seem alive in Kinnell’s poem; they are like his children: every one of them is unique, and the author cherishes all of them with special treatment.

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Despite both poems are about blackberries, they have very different contexts; their symbolism is also very different. Heaney uses blackberries to show his nostalgic feelings when Kinnell speaks about his passion for words. Heaney’s writing is advice to cherish time while Kinnell’s work is a representation of love and art. Both writers have a great style; they use many metaphors, comparisons, symbols, alliterations, and assonances. Heaney’s writing reminds of a storytelling while Kinnell’s is more like the music: he creates melodies with his words, and these melodies are played to the readers.

Although the two poets have very different visions and write in different keys, both their works are remarkable examples of a great poetry, which makes readers feel the same emotions as the authors do.

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