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Essay on Blackberry Picking and Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney – The theme of childhood Essay

In a broad spectrum, Heaney poetry work is characterized by childhood experience through learning and innocence. Evidently, the author tries to bring out the theme of childhood particularly by trying to recapture childhood innocence and excitement. ”Death of a naturalist” and ”Blackberry picking” by Seamus Heaney is impressive and outstanding masterpieces of poetry and analysis of the blissful nature of childhood psyche. Essentially, the theme of childhood transverse the whole poem whereby the author introduce his work by provoking a sense of excitement which aim to trigger a sense of childhood at the beginning of the poem. For instance, the author says “For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.” by so doing; the author tends to show how wonderment or rather immaturity is wondrous to adults (Collins, 43).

Unlike in Owen Sheers in ” Hedge school, childhood in ”Blackberry picking” is contradicted. In this case, the author uses his ambiguous nature to depict sexual imagery whereby he tries to portray loss of innocence. In the same case, the poet seeks to depict a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood or rather advancement in age (Collins, 2003). Ultimately, unlike in Owen Sheers in ” Hedge school, the author continues to portray the aspect of emotional dependency or rather childhood through depiction of the strong attachment that exist between the blackberries signifying solidarity. This is exemplary work that makes the authors portrayal of childhood theme in ”Blackberry picking” outstanding compared to Owen Sheers in ” Hedge school. Essentially, the theme of childhood in Owen Sheers in ” Hedge school” is not high portrayed, generally, the author seems to run out of ideas on how do with the blackberries and later develops the notion of sorting or tasting them (Stephens, 2007). Unlike in ”Death of a naturalist” and ”Blackberry picking” by Seamus Heaney, this does not bring out a clear picture to the reader regarding the theme of childhood.

In relation to ”Blackberry picking” by Seamus Heaney, the author tends to further the aspects of childhood by particularly bringing forth a sense of growing and various influences associated with a specific rite of passage. In ”Blackberry picking”, the author presents the theme of childhood in a unique way whereby he bring forth a sense of emotions states uplifting in childhood adventurous corridors. In addition, the theme of childhood in the poem is depicted when the author tries to show how lust and confusion is lost and portrays the persona to have an increased capacity.

In conclusion, Seamus Heaney work in ”Death of a naturalist” and ”Blackberry picking” signifies outstanding poetry work that uses diverse stylistic devises to depict various themes especially the theme of childhood. Essentially, the theme of childhood is clearly depicted in ”Blackberry picking” through the use of blackberries. Unlike in Owen Sheers in ” Hedge school”, Heaney serves to craft a sense of anxiety or rather longing among the audience through the persona’s bitter and exciting report of a childhood memory (Stephens, 2007). In addition, the author presents an environment that is dependence on nature rite of passage and mental change into an aging and a dynamic world.


Collins, F. (2003). Seamus Heaney: The crisis of identity. Newark [u.a.: University of Delaware Press [u.a..

Stephens, M. (2007). Poetry 1900-2000. Cardigan: Parthian.

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