williams essay

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1 March 2016

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The Poem, “Blackberries” (1992), by Yusef Komunyakaa is a retrospective look

In the Day of a life experienced by the author as a seller of blackberries when he was a

10 year old child. It is told from a first persons perspective so as to pronounce the level of

Intimacy to the narrative relative to the poet. In this essay, I’ll give a brief analysis of my

Thoughts on the poem and its effectiveness as an artistic literature.

In recounting the nostalgiac setting of summer, while working as a berry picker

And seller, the author attempts paint an image of the emotional and sensual complexities

laden through an average day on the streets: “Although I could smell old lime-covered History, at

ten I’d still hold out my hands and berries fell into them. Eating from one and filling a half gallon with

the other. “ (MLM , Komunyakaa, “Blackberries” PPG 147-148) .

Through his description in detailing the labor of picking berries and being challenged not

to eat them, he showcases a conflict that he’s clearly been faced with, in the face of his duty.

This conflict is later alluded to, from a more lustful point of view later in the piece.

When the author posit’s his disposition even further, he goes on to say: “I ate the

mythology & dreamt of pies & and cobbler, almost…” (MLM, Komunyakaa, “Blackberries” PPG 147-

148). It seems with this statement the author is implying that he is impoverished. When he

uses the memories of his poverty as a child in his descriptions, it gives the poem a very

melancholic tone; one of sympathy, even. Yet, still, in recounting these days of hardship,

he still finds the nostalgia of being with his dog and among nature’s elements. :

“Needful as forgiveness. My bird dog Spot. Eyed blue jays & thrashers. The mud frogs in rich blackness,

hid from daylight.” (MLM, Komunyakaa, “Blackberries” PPG 147-148) . To balance the conflict

with a longing to be in simpler times, with a connection to the animals and nature, gives

the piece a much needed lighter touch.

As the poem winds down, the author spans the poem from the beginning of his days journey to a point where he recalls the lure of air conditioning in contrast to the

seemingly excessive heat of the day. : “The big blue car made me sweat. Wintertime

crawled out of the windows. When I leaned closer I saw the boy & and girl my age, in the

wide back seat smirking..” (MLM, Komunyakaa, “Blackberries” PPG.147-148)

The context in him describing this observation was cynical, in my opinion. Throughout the

poem the author has struck a delicate balance in expanding on moments in his life that

would otherwise be forgettable to anyone else, and discovering the beauty in those very

moments that made the experience worthwhile.

Overall, “Blackberries”, by Yusef Komunyakaa is a short, autobiographical

narrative integral to the authors experience as an impoverished boy. The poem begins as

workman’s like representation of a commodity he seemed to be burdened, yet enamored

by. In detailing hi profound allegorical appreciation for the fruit, he seems challenge to

reconcile his desires with his duty as a laborer and a provider. Though, in recalling his

memories, he writes with such a clarity and strength in his descriptions, that some

unappealing moments, were beautiful in their nobility.

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"williams essay" StudyScroll, 1-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: https://studyscroll.com/williams-essay-essay. [Accessed: 9-Jun-2023]

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