I love to go out in late September
among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries
to eat blackberries for breakfast,
the stalks very prickly, a penalty
they earn for knowing the black art
of blackberry-making; and as I stand among them
lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries
fall almost unbidden to my tongue,
as words sometimes do, certain peculiar words
like strengths or squinched,
many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps,
which I squeeze, squinch open, and splurge well
in the silent, startled, icy, black language
of blackberry — eating in late September.
I like this poem very much because it plays with the sounds of words like “black blackberries”, “to eat blackberries for breakfast”, “the black art of blackberry-making”, “many-lettered, one syllabled lumps”, “squeeze, squinch, splurge”, “black language of blackberry” etc. When I read the poem aloud, I feel the oral and auditory experience of language. The poem compares words to blackberries. So eating the blackberries is like orally tasting language itself. But sometimes language could be quite “prickly” because it is like black magic which is not made for good. And there are peculiar words which you have to taste thoroughly in order to understand its unusual quality.