Millions of Strawberries

MILLIONS OF STRAWBERRIES

Marcia and I went over the curve,
Eating our way down
Jewels of strawberries we didn’t deserve,
Eating our way down
Till our hands were sticky, and our lips painted.
And over us the hot day fainted,
And we saw snakes,
And got scratched,
And a lust overcame us for the red unmatched
Small buds of berries,
Till we lay down-
Eating our way down-
And rolled in the berries like two little dogs,
Rolled
In the late gold.
And gnats hummed,
And it was cold,
And home we went, home without a berry,
Painted red and brown,
Eating our way down.

GENEVIEVE TAGGARD

Classroom Tip: This marvellously sensual poem by Genevieve Taggard (1894-1948) is perfect for discussing poems about the senses and the environment- easily pre-dating Heaney’s Blackberrying! After reading the poem and talking about the physical quality of the writing, ask the pupils to write a short poem about picking and eating something outdoors.