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A Blessing by James Wright

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Rawan Dani

on 10 April 2014

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Transcript of A Blessing by James Wright

A Blessing
Step 2:
1. The characters in "A Blessing" are the narrator, his companion and the two Indian ponies. The author seems to personalize the horse, as he doesn’t call the horse it rather he calls the horse her and she.
Step 3
1. The speaker is the author as he doesn’t adopt a certain persona and he seems to be speaking from experience. The narrator is fond of nature and animals, this is shown in the first few lines where the narrator and his friend have a need to jump over a dangerous fence to be able to view the beautiful Indian ponies.

Step 4:
1. The plot of this poem is the discovery of lonely horses that are so beautiful it seems as if it were a blessing, and the narrator and his friend are enjoying the horses presence and innocence.

Step 1:
1. The title " A Blessing" conjures the thought that it's not an everyday event, but that it's something so amazing that the only way to explain it is to say that, it's a blessing.
2. "A Blessing" is a free/open verse poem. It doesn't break off into different stanzas and it doesn't rhyme or have regular rhythm. The line length differs from one another. The feeling I get from the visual poem is randomness.
3. "A Blessing" has 12 complete sentences; it breaks up parts of the sentences to make a point, by separating each sentence it draws attention to each line.
5. The speaker’s attitude towards the horses is very respectful, friendly, humanizing the ponies and the speaker seems to be in awe of the horses’ beauty and love for one another, as he very careful with the horses, as he lets them naturally wander over to him.
7. The tone goes from being enthusiastic to being in awe to loving.

James Wright
A Blessing by James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian Ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more, they begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if i stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

2. The key words in this poem are: kindness, alone, happiness, love, loneliness, darkness, delicate and blossom. These words are key words because they emphasize the characteristics of the horses, the beauty of nature, and how it’s a blessing to humans. The narrator visually makes these words key by isolation or having the words stand on their own.
4. Line 1-9 describes the initial meeting between the narrator and his friend and the two Indian ponies, line 10-13 describes the relationship between the two horses, line 14-20 describes the author’s love for one of the horses, and the last 4 lines describe how the narrator could easily change if he was out of his body.
4. The setting is “off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota”, the setting is semi-important, as the audience isn’t sure about the back-story of why they were there. The atmosphere of the setting is magical yet abandoned, which symbolizes the carelessness of humans towards nature.
Step 5:
1. Abstract words: Kindness, welcome, alone, darkness.

3. The contrasting words are happiness/loneliness,
black/white, softly/tensely.
4.“Welcome” and “alone” describe nature and how humans have neglected to give attention to essential part of life.

Step 6:
1. “A Blessing” is loaded with imagery words, such as “twilight” and “she is black and white” caters to the audience sense of sight, “I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms” caters to the sense of touch as does “And nuzzled my left hand”. The description of the horses is the most significant to the poem’s meaning.
2. The connotation “twilight” shows mystery whereas the narrator's wanting to hold the “slenderer” one shows that he wants to hold the more innocent and fragile animal.

3. This poem describes horses as beautiful and gentle beings as the author uses words full of imagery words such as, “delicate” “kindness” “bow shyly”, he describes the slender horse’s ear as “delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.”
4. Line 7 “We step over the barbed wire into the pasture” is literal imagery, but also non literal as the author is trying to describe the shift from modern life and stepping into the natural world. Line 4 “Darken with kindness” referring to the horses eyes shows a use of oxymoron.

Step 7:
1. The allusions of native peoples are evident in this poem as he refers to the horses as “Indian ponies”, which are a specific breed of horses. The second allusion “We stepped over the barbed wire into the pasture” could be alluding to the privately owned land of new settlers in the 18th -19th century. Allusion of “her mane wild on her forehead” could mean the wildness (freedom) of the land before European setters, which the narrator is trying to escape as he changes his scenery from a busy highway, to nature.
Step 8:
2. The beat in this poem is irregular, the words that emphasize this poem are: darken, alone, munching, nuzzled, suddenly, and blossom. The rhythmic patterns are soft, slow and flowing, it adds to the delicate nature of the horses.

Step 9:

2. I think this poem is about the struggles between living in an urban state of mind and transitioning to living in a natural way.
3. The poem illuminates the constant struggle of trying to relate to mother earth and being in the man made world.

Full transcript