Blackberry Eating by Galway Kinnell is a remarkable poem, which has a number of metaphors and composed of sensory and figurative language. At this point, it is possible to refer to several examples of such language. First, the author refers to words as many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps:
certain peculiar words
like strengths or squinched,
many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps (Kinnell)
In such a way, the author shows that the language and speech may be wordy but, in fact, words may worth nothing. They may be just meaningless lumps, like a sort of rubbish. The author stands on the ground that words may be complicated to say and to understand but have little actual meaning. Instead, the author implies that words may be simple but clear and right. Therefore, what does matter is the meaning of the word but not its structure or other technical issues.
At the same time, the author makes references to specificities of the African-American language and its development:
the silent, startled, icy, black language (Kinnell).
In fact, this silent, startled, icy language is a sort of the secret language used by African Americans. Silent and startled implies that the language used by African Americans was and probably still is the laconic language used by African Americans to keep something in secret because their ancestors were accustomed to keep their communication in secret to prevent the whites from interfering into their struggle for their rights and liberty. They were afraid of the revelation of their plans, Therefore, the language was startled. At the same time, icy implies the cold-bloodiness of African Americans and their boldness in their struggle.
Kinnell, G. Blackberry Eating. 2003. Retrieved on July 8, 2011 from http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/blackberry-eating/
Rose, Tricia. “Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America”, pages 53-55. Wesleyan Press, 1994.
Rubin, Irene S. Running in the Red: The Political Dynamics of Urban Fiscal Stress. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1982.