by Rene Allen
Today for my blog, I would like to share a favorite poem by Galway Kinnell (Selected Poems, Houghton miffin, 1982), which describes with delectable imagery some of my feelings about writing. For me, there is an added bonus because this poem pulls me directly back through time to my grandmother's house, to blackberry brambles and purple stained fingers, and dumplings at the end of the day. I hope you enjoy it.
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.