Here is an example of how to use this in a poetry essay:
Choose a poet who reflects on the idea of change. Show how the poet explores the subject in one or more of his/her poems, and explain to what extent your appreciation of the subject is deepened.
This question suits Seamus Heaney’s poem Blackberry Picking well, as Heaney uses the poem as a means to reflect on how growing up naturally changes how we see the world.
His experience of childhood summers spent picking fruit - only for the vast amount of it to rot - serves as a metaphor for life in general, where optimism and the focus on immediate pleasure are replaced by a natural conservatism and pessimism.
There is a clear theme of change in the poem, as Heaney looks back on his younger self through the eyes of an adult, to see how life has changed.
Here is an example paragraph using the PEER structure that deals with the imagery in the poem:
glossy purpleberries have been transformed by a
rat-grey fungus. It becomes apparent in that moment the berries are rotting and in the children’s
lust for pickingthey have failed to consider what might happen to the fruit.
lust, Heaney is suggesting the children pick the berries with a wild sense of abandon and their desire to collect them in as vast a quantity as possible is almost uncontrollable. The berries have been transformed from
glossy purple- indicating life, vitality and freshness, to -
rat-grey– a colour associated ultimately with decay and death. In the context of the poem, this experience highlights the human condition itself, which can be summed up as the passage from innocence to experience.