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Sylvia Plath - Blackberrying

Nobody 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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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 994 times | Comments and analysis of Blackberrying by Sylvia Plath Comments (11)

Blackberrying - Comments and Information

Poet: Sylvia Plath
Poem: Blackberrying
Volume: The Collected Poems
Year: Published/Written in 1961

Comment 11 of 11, added on March 17th, 2013 at 7:57 PM.

it is really sad but gives a sense of hope comming

Anna from Canada
Comment 10 of 11, added on February 3rd, 2006 at 11:40 AM.

wag1? ye man.. i did dis poem in class 2day n 4 sum reason i actually liked it. sylvia (i fink das her name lol) was actually sufferin from depression and dis shows in some area of the poem. It iz quite sad (feeling way) and it makes da reader fink alot. Just fort id say dat lol byeee xxx

becki a from United Kingdom
Comment 9 of 11, added on February 3rd, 2006 at 8:39 AM.

Ah, so six years after I did it, they're still making you compare Plath with Heaney...good job this is a fantastic poem. Just a thought which got me a lot of marks: the blood sisterhood bit is probably about menstruating. She might have been having her period at the same time as she was picking the blackberries. Hope that helps!

Becci from United Kingdom

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