Mpare and Contrast the Way in Which Heaney and Clarke Portray Childhood Experiences

Topics: Poetry, Fruit, Pea Pages: 4 (1281 words) Published: February 17, 2011
Compare and contrast the way in which Heaney and Clarke portray childhood experiences

Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney and Stealing Peas by Gillian Clarke both approach passion and disappointment in life by describing childhood experience. They explore love and regret through the description of childhood and nature; Blackberry Picking through the explicit meaning of picking blackberries but them decomposing, and Stealing Peas through the explicit meaning of children stealing peas from pea rows in a field in the day, but later on with a girl asking a boy a question and her being given a disappointing and seemingly unexpected answer. Both Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney and Stealing Peas by Gillian Clarke are similar in subject; they both are poems about sad or unfortunate childhood events that have perhaps lingered in both of the poets’ memories. “Blackberry Picking” uses nature as a basis for the narrative. Heaney writes about his childhood experiences; picking berries in “late august”. Heaney and Clarke both create strong feelings in their poems. In “Blackberry Picking”, Heaney conveys a sense of lust and greed for the berries: “We hoarded the fresh berries”, but that afterwards the berries fermented and grew sour: “The fruit fermented”. Alternatively, Heaney could also be describing the excitement and joy people feel at the beginning of relationships and how it can deteriorate into something that is bitter and rotten. Heaney does this by describing how a fungus grows upon the berries that they had picked, making the “sweet flesh” of the berries turn sour. Similarly, in “Stealing Peas”, Gillian Clarke also uses nature as a basis for the narrative when she writes about two teenage lovers crawling in pea rows, stealing the peas and eating them. They crawl in the pea rows, slid the peas down their tongues. The girl asks, “Who d’you like best?” and he replies with “You’re prettier. She’s funnier.” She writes, “I wish I hadn’t asked” indicating she...
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