Still Delighting at the Taste of Wild Blackberries


“When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.”

–Mary Oliver

6 thoughts on “Still Delighting at the Taste of Wild Blackberries

  1. “Blackberry: Sacred to Brighid, the leaves and berries are used to attract wealth or healing. This is a Goddess herb, belonging to the planetary sphere of Venus. Protection, health, prosperity, pie for Lughnasadh, to commemorate the harvest.”

    “History and Folklore

    Blackberries were in olden days supposed to give protection against all ‘evil runes,’ if gathered at the right time of the moon. Since ancient Greek physicians prescribed the herb for gout, the leaves, roots, and even berries have been employed as a medicinal herb. The most common uses were for treating diarrhea, sore throats, and wounds. Native Americans made fiber, obtained from the stem, it was used to make a strong twine. Another use was as a huge barricade around the village made of piles of the thorny canes, for protection from 4 and 2 legged predators. A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit.”

    Blackberry Herbal Use and Medicinal Properties

    “Blackberry is edible and medicinal. Used extensively by the Native American tribes, it had many other surprising uses. The leaf is more commonly used as a medicinal herb, but the root also has medicinal value. Young edible shoots are harvested in the spring, peeled and used in salads. Delicious Blackberries are edible raw or made into jelly or jam. The root-bark and the leaves are astringent, depurative, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary. They make an excellent alternative medicine for dysentery, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and cystitis.
    The most astringent part is the root. Orally, they are used to treat sore throats, mouth ulcers and gum inflammations. A decoction of the leaves is useful as a gargle in treating thrush and also makes a good general mouthwash. The presence of large amounts of tannins that give blackberry roots and leaves an astringent effect useful for treating diarrhea are also helpful for soothing sore throats. A medicinal syrup is also made from Blackberry, using the fruit and root bark in honey for a cough remedy.”
    **I am not a medical doctor. Please seek the direction of trusted medical personnel before following any of the suggestions of the sources.


    • Wildberry Pie by David Wilcox is nice too.

      I had to think, ‘plus, I think I actually like it.’ too. My mind went OMG hee haw, shit I might like something from the forced Hee Haw. I bet they’d have also made it onto the Wall of Shame. 🙂

      I had sooo much fun this morning finding dark black dripping berries at the Tree Place.


  2. When the blackberries hang swollen in the woods…oh my…I could sink into that sentence forever. Elisa, there is something niggling that I wanted to share with you, but what the heck was it? Something I’m at the edge of remembering and maybe this isn’t it.

    Oh yes–maybe–it’s that we all fail when we attempt to describe a thing. The taste of a blackberry can not be described. We will fail if we try. If we try to describe anything we shall fail because real experience cannot be even hinted. (OK, it can be hinted, maybe.)

    You need not be so hard on yourself. Sink into the smell of basil. That’s all, really, that counts in the long run. Or perhaps delight in the failing. I really don’t worry about describing anything correctly because (OK, here’s the confession) it all feels like a big joke. The joke is even trying. It’s truly amazing that people get anything from what I like because I am NEVER ever (well, hardly ever) trying to capture reality. Only trying to capture a very subjective slice that hardly even reflects on what is true.

    Does this make sense?


    • Oh my goodness!! I answered you in my head, while I was checking out your image grava-thingy all this/that time ago. Someone just liked this blog and I noted that I never did respond in typing. I hope all is well with you and I’m off now to see what you have been doing and expressing on your blog now.


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