Comparison Between Blessing and Island Man

In ‘Blessing’ there is one main event; a municipal water pipe bursts upon a dry desert like country suffering from drought. In this essay I will be comparing the way Imtiaz Dharker describes the main event in ‘Blessing’ and the way Grace Nichols describes the main event in ‘Island Man.”Blessing’ is a poem about a hot, dry country, suffering from water drought and poverty, and how one day a miracle happens and a water pipe bursts spreading excitement and happiness everywhere.

’Island Man’ is about a man who has come from peaceful island life to a busy city life in London, and how he always dreams of his island until he wakes up each day and remembers he is no longer there.I believe the structure of the stanzas in blessing are very closely related to the theme of water in Blessing. For example the first stanza is 2 lines long; this could symbolize the fact that there is drought, poverty, and very little; how there ‘never is enough water’.

The second stanza is 4 lines long and the stanza speaks of little but some water- ‘imagine the drip of it’. The third stanza is the longest and here is when the municipal pipe bursts. It is 11 lines long and this could illustrate the huge flow of water and bursts of excitement that occur as the water flows free. ‘Silver crashes to the ground and the flow has found a roar of tongues’. The length of stanzas in this poem reflects the progression of the flow of water and events.

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Island Man does not seem to follow this pattern however the stanzas towards the end of the poem do seem to be generally shorter, but varied. ‘to surge of wheels.’, ‘to dull North Circular roar.’ This shoes how Island Man is steadily coming back to reality from in and out of his dreams.Not only does Blessing show a development through its structure, but also its language; ‘drip’, ‘splash’, ‘flow’; ‘voice’, ‘roar’, ‘screaming’. The use of these onomatopoeias builds the image of people and children becoming progressively excited, and also again reflects the way Imtiaz Dharker describes the water.

Island Man does also show a development of an event through language however it is shown through use of repetition; ‘groggily groggily’, ‘muffling muffling’. By use of repetition on these words we see Island Man’s gradual recovery from his false sense of reality, his dreams, and it seems as if he cannot quite believe it or is reluctant to acknowledge the fact that he is just in a busy city now.Both poems show a sense of new life. Grace Nichols describes the waves as ‘breaking and wombing’. This makes the waves seem new every time and imagery of waves breaking free is created. . This could show how Island man has a new dull repetitive life in London and how he misses Island life. In the last stanza of Blessing Imtiaz Dharker describes the children as ‘naked’, ‘screaming in the liquid sun.’ By describing the children as naked it creates a feeling of innocence, naivety, and youth; new skin, new wavesBlessing and Island Man both use language effects to emphasize the imagery and flow of the poem. Island man uses many alliterations with the letter ‘s’, ‘sound of blue surf’, ‘sun surfacing defiantly’. Whereas Blessing uses many onomatopoeias, ‘crack’, ‘drip’, ‘splash’. By having alliterations in the places where island life is being described it makes the words sound more appealing which reminds the audience of how special island life is. By accentuating the fact that there is little water through onomatopoeias it shows how precious the water is; ‘screaming in the liquid sun’. Water is precious to them like the island is precious to island man.Both poems describe an object that is precious. In Blessing there are some links to religion, and how sacred this water is. The people are described as ‘congregation’ when they come to see the excitement. This shows how the people were important and the water was important to them.

The water is also metaphorically described as ‘silver’, this shows how precious it is, as silver represents riches wealth and fortune. In Island Man the island is called a ‘small emerald island’. Emeralds are small precious stones, and this symbolises how the island is so beautiful and precious, like emeralds.In Island Man there is much contrast within the poem. The island is labelled ‘blue surf’ however when busy city life is described there is a change in perspective as it is described as ‘grey metallic soar’. This shows how Island Man feels about both places, preferring his old island much more to the ‘dull North Circular roar.’ Blessing also has some contrasts within it when the water is portrayed as very little ‘echo, in a tin mug’. Tin is not an expensive material and is not very valuable. However when the water pipe bursts and the flow is so mighty, the words ‘silver’, and ‘highlights polished to perfection’ appear. By associating the water with these words it contrasts on how vast the amount of water there was when the pipe exploded compared to before the miracle happened.The main events in both poems are described using structural and language devices to create imagery and make them flow well. I prefer the poem ‘Blessing’ as the climax creates such imagery. The poem is full of descriptions and metaphors and in the final stanza in the climax when it says ‘as the blessing sings over their small bones’ I think it finishes the poem perfectly as it relieves the audience of all the build up of excitement from the water and leaves them satisfied with reading the poem.

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Comparison Between Blessing and Island Man. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Comparison Between Blessing and Island Man
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