Blessing Poem Imtiaz Dharker Essay Contests

This poem describes how precious water is to poor people in a hot climate, where thirst is ever-present and there is dangerous shortage. The ‘Blessing’ of the title refers to the burst water pipe, and the panicked and near-hysterical reaction of the people who are granted this unexpected gift of gushing water that is difficult to save. The end of the poem is a note of joy and hope in the delight of the children … but perhaps with a sinister undertone.

The poem comprises four stanzas of uneven length with lines also of uneven length. There is no regular rhyme scheme, but the poet uses rhyme inconsistently, to give the poem cohesion. For example ‘ground’, ‘found’ and ‘around’ in stanza two.

The lines flow smoothly, with enjambed sentences and stanzas to quicken the pace and reflect the excitement of the unexpected gift of abundant of water.

Language and Imagery
The poem is full of vivid metaphors. The water is described like a precious metal; ‘silver’. The poem is full of hard, percussive consonants — ‘copper’, ‘'crashes’, ‘pots’ etc — to imitate the sounds of the buckets and containers crashing against each other.

The pace is fast with choppy, concise phrases. At the end of stanza two is an asyndetic list — that is, a list without the definite or indefinite article ‘and’ or ‘the — to suggest rushing, panicking people.

As well as the irregular end rhyme, as in stanza two, there is internal rhyme, for example, the consonant ‘butts’ and ‘pots’. In the last stanza the words ending in ‘ing’, ‘flashing’, ‘blessing’, ‘screaming’ are also consonantly rhymed.

The poet uses the device of synecdoche in ‘tongues’ to represent the people who are making the sounds.

Blessing by Imtiaz Dharker Essay

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Blessing by Imtiaz Dharker

Imtiaz Dharker’s poem can be read in two ways. A straightforward reading might suggest that the poem is simply a description of an incident when a pipe bursts and people run excitedly for the water.

A more considered reading, however, would see the poem as being more ominous and disturbing.

Under the apparent good fortune and excitement of the scene are darker ideas about the poverty and superstition of the people in the poet’s native country.

It is the second reading we will be exploring in this revision programme. Either way, the attitude to water in the poem should make us in the
West wonder at how much we all take for granted, and how too often we squander the earth’s resources.…show more content…

However, the analysis only offers a mostly ‘positive’ reading of the poem: That the burst pipe is a stroke of good fortune.


What it tells us:


The skin cracks like a pod

That there is very little water, and that the burst pipe is therefore a bit of luck.

The skin could refer metaphorically to the earth. In this case an image of broken drought stricken land comes to mind.

Imagine the drip of it . . . the voice of a kindly god.

The people are devout and religious, appreciating what’s given to them. We are made to see something we think of as ordinary as something precious. Silver crashes to the ground

The water is precious

The water is seen as being very positive – it is like winning the lottery. From the huts,/ a congregation

The people are orderly and religious

They appreciate what God has done for them

Naked children

The society is not embarrassed by nudity

The children are excited, exuberant and are enjoying the water

Highlights polished to perfection

The children have expensive hair-cuts

This is an image of brightness and energy

As the blessing sings/ over their small bones

The people are happy and singing. Children are small

They need the water and count it as a blessing.

Frantic hands

They all want the water

They are all excited

Notice how the poem builds from its first two-line stanza to the central incident and the commotion.

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