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Blackberry-Picking and PS-1 - The fruit fermented the sweet...

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“Blackberry-Picking” by Seamus Heaney from Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966-1996. New York: FSG, 1998. 7. Late August, given heavy rain and sun For a full week, the blackberries would ripen. At first, just one, a glossy purple clot Among others, red, green, hard as a knot. 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 dark blobs burned Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's. We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre. But when the bath was filled we found a fur, A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache. The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
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Unformatted text preview: The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour. I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot. Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not. “Postscript” by Seamus Heaney from Opened Ground And some time make the time To drive out west Into County Clare along the Flaggy Shore In September or October when the wind And the light are working off each other So that the ocean on one side is wild With foam and glitter and inland among stones The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans, Their feathers ruffed and ruffling, white on white, Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads Tucked or cresting or busy underwater. Useless to think you'll park and capture it More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there, A hurry through which known and strange things pass As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways And catch the heart off guard and blow it open....
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Blackberry-Picking and PS-1 - The fruit fermented the sweet...

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