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Blackberrying Analysis

Author: Poetry of Sylvia Plath Type: Poetry Views: 1710

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The Collected Poems1961Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,

Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,

A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea

Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries

Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes

Ebon in the hedges, fat

With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.

I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.

They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks --

Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.

Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.

I do not think the sea will appear at all.

The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within.

I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies,

Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.

The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven.

One more hook, and the berries and bushes end.The only thing to come now is the sea.

From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me,

Slapping its phantom laundry in my face.

These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.

I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me

To the hills' northern face, and the face is orange rock

That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space

Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths

Beating and beating at an intractable metal.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

Plath was depressed and very suicidal and this is reflected in the poem. It starts nicely and she seems happy. This could represent her childhood. However the second verse seems to show signs of things that seem to upset her. For example the repetition of "protesting" emphasizes what she hears. It could also have connotations with one of her memories. Also we all think flies are disgusting and here they have spoilt a whole "bush of berries". Its become a "bush off flies" and this creates a quite grotesque image in ones head.
The final verse is the most depressing. Its starts as "the only thing to come now is the sea". The sea is endless. It goes on forever and its quite a daunting image. There's also a large Lexus of abuse in the poem - she uses the words "slapping" and "beating" in the last verse. This saddens the reader because it instantly creates the image of it happening to Plath.
Where she says she can see the "white and pewter lights", it links with people reporting near death experiences where they see the light. Plath can see "nothing" but this light showing that, at this stage, she can not imagine going on.

| Posted on 2014-03-12 | by a guest

.: first verse :.

The first verse is by no means happy. The elaborate description of the blackberries encapsulates Plath's desire to feel close to something in her life. "They must love me" is mereley her overwhelming desire to be loved by something - anything, as she clearly wasn't recieving any adoration from her marriage with Ted Hughes at the time.

| Posted on 2008-05-16 | by a guest

.: Analysis..part of one :.

‘Blackberrying’ is a celebratory poem about motherhood as is ‘Heavy Women’ Plath found a sense of contentment in motherhood in her own life and it is a theme expressed strongly in her poetry although most of her poems deal with inner pain. The mood of the poem in the first two verses is one of happiness and joyfulness. Towards the end of verse two and the whole of verse three there is a change in mood and the poem becomes kind of bleak. The word ‘blackberries’ is used several times in the opening of the poem. T

. . .
his is used to alliterate and place emphasis the importance of the object in the poem, which could maybe be a symbol of how Plath’s children were an important part of her life. The imagery used creates a feeling that the nothingness and the stop that the road comes to in the poem means death, a central theme which links most of Plath’s work together.

In the last verse there is a transition from the ‘blackberry alley’ to the sea. There is a sense of disappointment at the end of the meadows and blackberry bushes coming into the sea ‘From between two hills a sudden wind funnels me, slapping phantom laundry in my face’ Plath goes onto say how the last hook bring her to the hill’s northern face that is orange rock. When the scenery comes to the sea it seems to be wide open and a ‘great space’ The words ‘nothing, nothing’ that are in the first line are repeated in the last verse.

(Plath commited suicide at thirty years old)

. The alley at the beginning of the poem seems to be enclosed with blackberries. Plath describes the blackberries as being ‘Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes Ebon in the hedges, fat’ Additionally the blackberries could be a metaphor for childbearing as indicated by the word ‘fat’ In the first verse, Plath mentions ‘blood sisterhood’ which can be interpreted as in the ritual of becoming ‘Blood brothers’ when two people cut each other and rub the wounds together, though changed to the feminine form of ‘sisterhood’ relating to the blackberry bushes as a metaphor for the bond between mother and child.

| Posted on 2006-05-27 | by Approved Guest

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