A poem for Thursday

Some days my mind wanders to Delgany and to Blackberry Lane. One of my favourite people lived on that lane and this time of year especially, I think of her garden. It was full of rose beds and my sister once got a thorn in her knee playing tag and jumping over them and even that drop of blood seemed beautiful, basked as it was in light and rose perfume.

You know those people whose homes you go to as a child and you discover new ways to play there and they always seem to have those foods your Mum won't buy? That was what Blackberry Lane led to. And it was appropriately named too - we used to pick berries there and Mum would make jam, those blue rings staining our countertop where the jam was poured into jars. It became my favourite kind of jam, wrapped up in all this heady beauty..

This poem is by Sylvia Plath and though it's not my lane, it reminds me of it. Via.

Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.

Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks --
Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.
Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.
I do not think the sea will appear at all.
The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within.
I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies,
Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.
The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven.
One more hook, and the berries and bushes end.

The only thing to come now is the sea.
From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me,
Slapping its phantom laundry in my face.
These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.
I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me
To the hills' northern face, and the face is orange rock
That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space
Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths
Beating and beating at an intractable metal.
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