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Blessing- Imtiaz Dharker

Summary:

  • It is a poem with four stanzas that highlights the ‘blessing’ of water in people’s lives. Dharker stresses that although a community of people are suffering and find the basic staple of life as a blessing, they enjoy it when they finally receive it, even when they could use many more.

  • The title has theological and spiritual connotations. The poem’s title is used as an extended metaphor

  • The title gives us expectations that contrasts with the actual poem.

Themes:

  • Poverty/ wealth gap

  • Scarcity (in this case-water)

  • Religion

  • Luck

Meaning:

  • Humble poem that emphasises water scarcity in the world. 

  • Highlights the blessing of water in people’s lives.

Effect on the reader:

  • Reminds the reader to not take simple commodities for granted

  • Teaches the reader to count their blessings.

Structure:

  • It is written in free-verse as it is not supposed to be chanted. Helps the reader ponder over how much of a blessing water actually is.

  • ‘There is never enough water’- the sentence is isolated which emphasises the scarcity of water in the area. ● In stanza 2, there are a lot of monosyllables which emphasise severe dehydration.

  • ‘Echo’ is the last word on the line which helps recreate the effect of the echo.

  • Stanza 1 and 2 help set the scene of suffering and make stanza 3 and 4 more significant.

  • Stanza 3 is a longer stanza and enjambment help highlight the excitement. It could also emphasise the flow of water.

  • The stanza 4 highlights that this ‘blessing’ is only temporary relief. The last words are ‘small bones’ highlight that they are still a community in great pain and as they are children, the future for the community may also be in desperation- a sense of hopelessness.

Imagery:

  • ‘Cracks like a pod’- harsh sun  

  • ‘Liquid sun’- metaphor/juxtaposition

Language:

  • ‘Cracks’- harsh consonants in the word reflect the harshness of the scorching sun

  • ‘Cracks like a pod’ simile highlights how dry the conditions are and the lack of water in the area  

  • ‘Never’- adverb creates an image of relentless suffering and highlights the desperation of the community.

  • ‘Imagine’- the word invites the reader to empathise with those in such poverty. It also highlights the wealth divide among society due to the fact that some people have to imagine the suffering while others live through it every day.

  • Onomatopoeia- ‘drip, ‘small splash, echo’- engages the senses and encourages the reader to be more involved and empathise with the people.

  • Sibilance- ‘small splash’ elongates the monosyllables which help reflect the long wait for water.

  • ‘Tin mug’- implies poverty.

  • ‘Voice of a kindly god’- theological metaphor accentuates the scarcity of water. Not taken for granted.

  •  ‘Sometimes’- adverb emphasises ‘blessing’ is a special occasion.

  • ‘Sudden rush’- assonance helps underline the surprise of the people.

  • ‘Fortune’- ‘Silver’- metaphor accentuates value and encourages the privileged reader to reflect as the poet describes water as fortune.

  • Alliteration- ‘flow has found’ mirrors the flow of water.

  • ‘Roar of tongues’; ‘frantic’- suggests hysteria.

  • “A congregation: every man woman”- the colon emphasises everyone is desperate. Furthermore, there is no punctuation between man and woman highlighting the chaos.

  • “Brass, copper, aluminium, plastic”- listing helps highlight the chaos.

  • ‘Naked children’- implies poverty. This helps remind us that they are still poor and in a desperate situation.

  • ‘Screaming’- extremely happy.

  • ‘Liquid sun’- metaphor/juxtaposition

  • ‘Polished to perfection’- (their bone structure)- highlights the vulnerability of the children. There is very little hope for them.

  • ‘Flashing light’- religious imagery

  • ‘Blessing sings’- personification

  • ‘Small bones’- malnourished; highlights the poverty and their desperate situation.

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