Metaphor In 'Blackberries' By Yusef Komunyakaa

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The metaphor is a device which causes transformations. It can be used to de-familiarize familiar concepts and familiarize unfamiliar concepts. The familiarization process oftentimes works by giving abstract concepts a concrete form. It allows the indefinite to become definite and the intangible to become tangible, if only for the moments in which the metaphor is maintained. Metaphor also allows for, what Wallace Steven refers to it as in his poem “The Motive for Metaphor”, the “exhilaration of changes” meaning that the transformation can work in the opposite direction - making the familiar unfamiliar and causing the reader to look at the world from a new perspective. The poem “Blackberries” by Yusef Komunyakaa utilizes metaphors transformative abilities and imagery’s ability to create sensory experiences in order to portray the complex and often contradictory emotions associated with what it means to be an innocent child being haunted by the "old lime-covered/History" of slavery and racism which, in the final stanza, is a history which becomes more…show more content…
One hour after the speaker picked the berries and played with his dog, he stationed himself beside “City Limits Road,” presumably the border between the city and the country, and “limboed between worlds.” With the phrase “repeating one dollar,” the speaker picking the blackberries in the second stanza takes on an alternate meaning. He “fill[ed] a half gallon” can full of blackberries in order to sell them for one dollar by City Limits Road. Perhaps he sells blackberries for extra spending money, but, more likely, he sells the berries because he needs to sell the berries, because every little bit of extra money can go a long way when you do not have much money to begin with. What was initially thought to be a purely recreational activity was actually one of

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