Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blackberries by Yusef Komunyakaa

I was assigned to be an expert on the poem 'Blackberries' by Yusef Komunyakaa. I really enjoyed this poem, but there are a lot of details that are left to be assumed by the reader. For one, I have been trying to decide, is this person a male or female? I have came to the conclusion that I think it is a young boy, mainly because it says in the poem "my bird dog spot" and I would just assume that a boy would have a bird dog before a young girl would. Also, it says "When I leaned closer I saw the boy & girl my age", the boy is listed first which makes me think the speaker is a boy. I really liked this poem because it showed the difference between social classes and how kids and young adults have to deal with it as well. I believe that this poem is about a young boy who has to pick blackberries and then try to sell them just to make a living. I feel like this is an every day thing for him and has been for awhile. It seems to me that he hasn't really been able to actually have a childhood and have fun. The words that were used in this poem gave great imagery and it actually gave me the chills. The whole last stanza was my favorite. It showed how hard his life was and how unfortunate he was compared to other children his age. He was forced in life to stand on side of the road holding buckets of blackberries and try to sell them for $1.00 to people who had money and easy lives. This poem really made me feel sorry for the speaker when he said the young boy & girl were smirking at him in the backseat of the car. Also, he makes it seem as if they were rich because he says "in the wide back seat" which lets us a know he considered it a big car. To me, this poem was written mainly to show the feelings of a young boy who is in a low social class and already has to work to survive.

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