From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Blackberry-Picking

Blackberry-Picking

  

by Seamus Heaney

Blackberry-Picking Mortality Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (line)

Quote #4

the sweet flesh would turn sour. (line 21)

He may as well be talking about his aging lover. Sweet flesh turning sour, or young flesh getting wrinkly, is the reason so many cosmetic companies are in business! Humans are constantly trying to preserve themselves and slow the effects of aging. But we all know there's no stopping it.

Quote #5

Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not. (line 24)

Bummer. This is the age-old desire to stay young and alive. This is why so many fairy tales and myths have some version of the quest for the fountain of youth. Death is not the easiest thing for humans to reconcile. Regardless of how often we're told we're going to die, we try best we can to stretch out life.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement