Finding Forgiveness in "Blackberries"

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The poem “Blackberries” is about a young man spending his day eating handfuls of blackberries. Narrator Yusef Komunyakaa paints a picture of the day. The perfect stains left from the juices of the berries, as well as concluding the day of picking wild blackberries by describing a memory of when he was younger. His fingers not only stained from the berries, also by the blood from picking the berries that were “too ripe to touch.” This poem is about forgiveness and the affects of how limbo can change a person. Firstly, picking blackberries is a symbol of the narrators need for forgiveness. Secondly, personal feelings are brought into the poem adding a sympathetic feel. Lastly memories become reality, rising to the surface of guilt filled through the vines of the poem. The narrator jumps into the poem by painting the picture of having fresh, sticky juices stained on his hand as if he were a printer or a thief being finger printed for a crime. “They left my hands like a printer’s/Or thief’s before a police blotter” (1-2). This creates a clear image of his hands stained purple, in every nook and crease on his hand. The first two stanzas are all about explaining and creating the blackberries. “Terrestrial sweetness, so thick”(4), adds the depiction of the berries forcing the reader to now taste the thick, sweet juice that invades when biting into a freshly picked berry. “I ate the mythology & dreamt Of pies & cobbler, almost/Needful as forgiveness”(11-13). This now adds a stronger taste in adding the words pie and cobbler since it is commonly known as dessert. However, “almost Needful as forgiveness”, gives the impression that the narrator is holding out for forgiveness, as if he needs to be forgiven for something unseen in his past. In the last two stanzas, the narrator becomes more personal. The blackberries remind the narrator of his past and of something he needs forgiveness from. “My bird dog Spot/Eyed blue jays & thrashers. The mud frogs/In rich blackness, hid...
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