June 27, 2009

Blackberry-Picking

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Saturday's poem will serenade your soul.
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--Description: 21st C, Heaney S., Nature, Seasons--


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
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.

Seamus Heaney


--Did You Know:(born 13 April 1939) Heaney is an Irish poet, writer and lecturer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. He currently lives in Dublin. He was born on April 13, 1939 into a family of nine children at the family farmhouse called Mossbawn, between Castledawson and Toomebridge in Northern Ireland. In 1953, his family moved to Bellaghy, a few miles away, which is now the family home. His father, Patrick Heaney, owned and worked a small farm of fifty acres in County Londonderry, but his real commitment was to cattle-dealing

--Word of the Day: effulgence \i-FUL-juhn(t)s\, noun:
The state of being bright and radiant; splendor; brilliance.
(eg) The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues.
-"Congressman Henry Lee's Eulogy for George Washington" , December 4, 1908
The setting sun as usual shed a melancholy effulgence on the ruddy towers of the Alhambra.
-Washington Irving, The Alhambra

--Quote of the Day: Every time a resolve or fine glow of feeling evaporates without bearing fruit, it is worse than a chance lost; it works to hinder future emotions from taking the normal path of discharge.
-William James

Spanish Word of the Day: confianza, noun:
Trust
(One of the meanings of confianza is confidence:)
(eg) Ese abogado tuyo no me inspira confianza.
That lawyer of yours doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

(Confianza also often means trust:)
(eg)Han puesto toda su confianza en él.
They’ve put all their trust in him.

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