The theme of this poem is very religious. This is shown from four references to religion. The first one being “blessing”, repeated twice, first on stanza 4 line 5 and in the title. This will imply to the reader that they are religious but not of any set religion of yet. The second one being “kindly god”, this shows to the reader that they are not of a Christian background and therefore are not Christian them selves.
This is as Christian God would be spelt God, with a capital letter. For example the Greek god’s will be spelt “god” without a capital letter. This would then impact on the reader that these people are not Christian’s even though the Dharker uses the word “congregation”. The poet specifically uses this language too emphasise how this village is a multi-cultural place and highlights that there is not one set religion. “Congregation” is a Christian word that describes a gathering in a church this may contradict her statement about “god”, but it will enhance the idea of the settlement being a multi-cultural, missed religious place.
In the poem “Blessing” Dharker uses the poetic technique onomatopoeia. The poet also uses the technique of sibilance.
Blessing Imtiaz Dharker Essay Sample
An example of onomatopoeia in “Blessing” is when Dharker says the word “splash” in stanza 2 line 2. Another example of this is when the poet uses the work “crashes”. Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it is describing as “crashes” sounds like the action it is describing. “Crashes” is describing how the water is slamming to the floor and making a crashing sound. I believe this implies to the reader that the poet is trying to set the scene in the readers mind.
This emphasises how this was such a “blessing and it over-exaggerates the reaction of the people and how it affects them. This helps the reader feel what the people are feeling.
Atmosphere in “Blessing” And “Island Man” Atmosphere in “Blessing” And “Island Man” Atmosphere in “Blessing” And “Island Man”
Sibilance is were a poet would use a word or words containing “s” sounds and “sh” sounds. An example of sibilance in the poem would be “splash”. This gives the effect on the reader that they are hearing what the splash is actually sounding like and this develops an atmosphere in the reader’s mind, to help the reader hear what the people are hearing. This will demonstrate how the people are suffering without water, when they get water it is a gift from god, s “blessing”.
I believe that Dharker uses these two techniques combined to set an aural image in the readers mind, this is done by how the onomatopoeia’s are helping the reader imagine how it would be like without water and helping them imagine the sounds and what is going on and sibilance will help the reader image the sounds that are going on in this village also.
The value of water to the people in this poem is very great. This is shown by the word “silver” is being used. Silver is a pun as it has two meanings, one being the colour silver and the other being the value of silver. The poet may have intended to use both meanings as the water is very valuable to the people. Fortune” is used in the third Stanza, this is also a pun.
One meaning being luck and how the people are lucky to have this “blessing”. Money is another meaning for “fortune” and the people have no money. The poet may want this to affect the reader by using both of these words and both of their meanings to make the reader think about every perspective.
The structure indicates the pipe bursting, it shows how at the start it trickles out, this refers to the short sharp opening stanza which had end-stop punctuation. In the second stanza, it increases a little bit more. This will refer to the pipe building up more tension/pressure ready to burst out. In the third stanza, there is a big increase in lines and enjambment is used. Enjambment is when there is no punctuation at the end of a line and this forces the reader to read on and this helps the poem flow well.
In stanza 4 the pressure of the pipe is slowly stopping, this is shown by the line length and the amount of lines, these being mainly short and not very many. Dharker gave the poem an irregular structure. The poem does have end-stop punctuation in some places and were it is not this helps the poem flow easier and is better for reading as it does not stop and start.
Imtiaz Dharker uses the poetic technique of enjambment. She does this in stanza 3, line 3 and 4. “Silver crashes to the ground/and the flow has found”. This is an example of enjambment. This will give the poem the effect of it flowing more naturally, this gives the reader the idea of the poem flowing as water does.
When the end-stop punctuation stops and the enjambment is being used this will give the effect of the stanza’s flowing easier and better to make it flow as easy as water does.
Imtiaz Dharker was boring in Lahore in 1954. She moved to Glasgow of a young age and now speaks and writes in English. She also speaks Indian fluently as well. She now moves form England too India a lot of the time. She originates from India but would class them both as home.
She writes this poem to inform of us as fortunate and lucky people that things like this are actually happening. She is showing and informing these people who are oblivious to all of this happening and trying to make them see what she has seen and experienced. This may not be written from experience but she has witnessed what it is to live at both ends of the scale. She has been through what it is like to be wealthy and she has witnesses the complete opposite and feels she to inform us of this. This comes across not being too forcing like some charity appeals are even though this is not a charity appeal it is only telling people that these things go on and let them act how they want in any way possible.
This is good as it does not become too forcing for people and they are not pressured in to something and if this affects them enough this may help them act upon their thoughts. She is trying to show us what we take for granted in England.
I believe the implications of the title are that they are describing what is happening in the poem. Dharker describes it as a “blessing” as this will never happen on a daily basis. This is a miracle to the people of this town/village, a gift from god.
Grace Nichols – “Island Man”
The main themes of Island Man are; cultural displacement, the value of water, community and freedom. One of the most important themes of Grace Nichols’ “Island Man” are how island man values water. This is shown in his name as Island Man would imply that he likes to be surrounded by water and this feels homely for him. In “Blessing” the value of water is also a them, this is shown by how the villagers value the water form the pipe as it is scarce in their village/town, were as in Island Man values water in a different perspective as he has grown up around water and feels it is a part of him. Freedom is a main theme and it is shown by how Island Man had sacrificed his freedom for a better quality of life in some ways.
One of these ways being living quality but he has sacrificed what he loves, the sea and water for a repetitive boring life in London. He feels as if everything is too crowded and he is becoming claustrophobic. Were as in “Blessing” the theme of freedom is in the opposite sense, it shows how the children are innocent by how they are playing and living for the moment. Cultural displacement is shown by how Island Man is lonely and how his life is on repeat every day, where as in “Blessing” there is a sense of community togetherness and the children having freedom running around playing and how Island Man is on his own and is homesick.
Grace Nichols was born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1950. She grew up their and became a teacher and a journalist. She then emigrated to the UK and is a very well known and famous poet.
The dedication of the poem Island Man will imply that the Island Man is misplaced. Evidence to support this point is when Grace Nichols suggests he is of mixed nationalities when she writes “Caribbean Island Man in London”. She does this to make the reader feel sympathetic for Island Man as he does not where his home is. He may have immigrated for a reason and therefore is un-able to go home. She has written this poem for the reader to question Island Man’s morals as he may have been confused of were his home is or were he is most welcome.
Free verse gives the poet freedom to write however comfortable for them and how they think is most effective. Grace Nichols uses free verse in Island Man and this has given her to structure her poem however she pleases. An example of this is on the last line of stanza 2 when she spaces “groggily, groggily” away from the rest of the line. This emphasises how Island Man is feeling and reminds the reader how he feels and what time of day it is.
Grace Nichols uses the poetic technique of sibilance through out the poem.[ an example of this is in the first stanza line 2 and 3. the words are “sounds”, “wakes” and “surf”. Sibilance will imply to the reader and will set an aural picture. This picture is that of the seas and the water, the poet wants to set this picture in the readers mind. Sibilance is also used in “Blessing” for the same sense, to create the scene of what Imtiaz Dharker is seeing in her imagination.
This sets a good atmosphere in the readers mind in both poems.
Another way in which Grace Nichols emphasises sound is when she says the word “wombing”. I think she uses the image of a womb to the reader to imagine what it would be like to be in a womb. This being a sanctuary of piece and maybe feeling enclosed, every sound being muffled. This symbolises how Island Man feels claustrophobic, trapped in the imaginary womb. Grace Nichols has made up this word “wombing”, this may have been because their was no other word that could fit her description she was trying to portray to the reader.
Grace Nichols uses this peculiar use of language to show how Island Man is in-between sleeping and waking and how the sounds around him influence what he hears in his dreams. This is most probably the best word that would describe what Grace Nichols is thinking.
Grace Nichols uses another technique to emphasise sound, this being onomatopoeia and it is shown by when she says the word “roar” in stanza 3. This is to emphasise the loudness of the cars, in his dream the cars are interpreted as the “the sound of the blue surf”. Similar too Imtiaz Dharker’s use of onomatopoeia as she uses these to emphasise the sound of the thing she is describing. In stanza 3 she replaces the word sound, which would have made sense but she chooses to use “sand”. This shows how Island Man is connected with the Caribbean and dreams of being at home on the beach.
Grace Nichols uses repetition in stanza 2 line 6, the phrase is “groggily, groggily”. This emphasises how Island Man is still half asleep. Groggy means for some to still be very tired and still be feeling like they should be asleep, this is shown in “Island Man” as he is feeling very tired and feels like this. Repetition will emphasise what the poet want to get across to the reader and in “Island Man” this creates an atmosphere of being lazy.
Personification is uses in stanza 2 line 3. “The sun is surfacing defiantly” is the example of this. Personification is when you would make an object or thing have human features or feelings. This line shows how the sun is in the Caribbean as in London most days would be dark and overcast. In the Caribbean were Island Man feels most comfortable is where the sun would be.
A point to back this up is when Grace Nichols implies it is his island. She does this when she says “of his small emerald island”. She does this to imply to the reader this is where he feels most welcome at home in the Caribbean with the sun sea and sand.
An example of a pun is in the poem were he poet states the word “emerald” in the sentence “of his small emerald island”. Imtiaz Dharker also has a use of a pun this being “silver”. Both “silver” and “emerald” are describing colour and fortune/preciousness. One of the meanings of “emerald” being colour may be describing the green vegetation of the island, the Caribbean and England. Another meaning for “emerald” is how precious it is.
When Grace Nichols uses “his” in this sentence this shows to the readers that the Caribbean is his own island at heart. This shows the connection that Island Man had with the Caribbean and how he feels alienated in London. A comparison to “Blessing” would be that they are using a pun for the same reason. This being to show how precious the water/island is to the people/Island Man and how the colour influences the people and Island Man.
Grace Nichols uses repetition again in stanza 4 line 1. This is when she repeats the word “muffling”. Grace Nichols does this to emphasise to the reader how Island Man is still half in a sleeping state. This would also give the effect on the reader that Island Man is talking in his sleeping state. A link back to a quote at the start of the poem would be when Grace Nichols writes “wombing”.
This implies a sanctuary were all the sounds of the outside would be muffled. “Muffling” will imply that he may be muffling into the waves/creases in this pillow.
Grace Nichols chooses the phrase “his crumpled pillow waves”. I believe this is the best example of how Island Man is homesick and how he feels alienated in both societies. This is because Grace Nichols wants us to think of the crumples in the pillow being the peak of the waves in the middle of the clear blue Caribbean Sea. This gives the effect on the reader that when he is falling asleep all he is thinking about is home, the Caribbean therefore he is dreaming of home and is hearing sounds in London and relating them to sounds at home. For example “the sounds of the blue surf” is really the “dull North Circular roar”.
He hears sounds in real life and they are interpreted as sounds he wants them to be in his dreams.
On the last line of Grace Nichols states a very strong and very blunt phrase, “Another London day”. This is the most effective line in the poem. This is because it emphasises the monotonous feeling that Island Man has been experiencing. It is very blunt and straight to the point which makes it effective. This shows how repetitive London life is and how Island Man dreams of being in the free Caribbean.
Although “Blessing is about freedom and gain, “Island Man” is about freedom and loss. A mutual theme is water and it is emphasised in two different ways. They both create different atmospheres using different and similar poetic techniques. I feel that “Blessing” is a more effective poem and has more context surrounding it.