by Seamus Heaney
Blackberry-Picking Theme of Greed
Well, the kid can't eat just one! He wants tons and tons of berries, a whole secret stash just for himself. He's obsessed with searching for them. He carries berries in anything that will hold them. He stores them in a bath (now that's a lot of berries). "Blackberry-Picking" shows us the determined energy behind greed and its negative consequences.
Questions About Greed
- At what point do you realize it's not just moderate desire but greed that drives these boys to pick the berries?
- Do you think if they weren't so greedy, the results would have been different (their berries wouldn't have spoiled)?
- Do you think there's a conclusive moral to this poem? Is Heaney trying to say that greed is a punishable sin? What makes you think that?
Chew on This
Though Heaney shows the boys' greed, the poem's tone isn't a punishing one. He sees greed as something inherent to their age.