When we stumbled on this still-life showing the lifecycle of a blackberry we thought “Ohhh! That’s what we should keep in mind as we eat the luscious fruit which is still in season into late September and early October: Gotta flower before you fruit“. Then we remembered two poems to accompany a feast of them.

Blackberries are back. They cling near

little streams. Their eyes, bright


make tunnels through the vines.

They see their own thorns in the sky,

and the print of leaves.

At night they hide inside the wind,

ready to try the outdoors on.

They swing for distance, root for

fidelity. The truth is your only ransom

once they touch your tongue.

—  William Stafford

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.

—Galway Kinnell*

Billeder af nordens flora,.København,G.E.C. Gad’s forlag,1917-1927. Mertz Library, The New York Botanical Garden”

Blackberry Eating, Copyright © 1980 by Galway Kinnell. From Mortal Acts, Mortal Words 

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