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Blessing and Island Man

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Compare 'Blessing' with 'Island Man' showing how the poets use description to convey the thoughts and feelings of the characters in the poems. 'Blessing' and 'Island Man' are two very different poems. The theme of 'Blessing' revolves around people in a third-world country, who get very little water given to them. A blessing in their eyes occurs when a pipe bursts. 'Island Man', however, is about a man from the Caribbean who is now in London, but dreams he was still living in his homeland, even though he wakes up back in London. While the poem's themes are dissimilar, the poems are both very descriptive, and the poets use description to help us empathise further with their characters. The structure of the poem 'Blessing' is quite irregular. The first stanza is a mere two lines: it sets the scene. The next two stanzas increase in length before becoming smaller again at the last stanza. This helps us to picture how, in the beginning, there are only a few drops of water available however when the pipe bursts in the third stanza, the verse size increases along with how much water there is. ...read more.


This shows that the water finds the people, instead of it being vice versa - it sounds miraculous, because the people didn't choose for all this water to come at once but it was greatly longed for. Dharker also conveys how important the water is to them by describing it as 'silver' instead of just water, and 'sudden rush of fortune' to show that in their country, water is extremely rare and never taken for granted. Words with negative connotations for us such as 'screaming' and 'roar' are turned around in this poem and used to a positive effect. In the last stanza, the phrase 'flashing light' could show how water is such a light to these people's lives and a novelty to them, on the other hand it could also show that the flow of water is slowing down now, and it is only in spurts or flashes but still looks like light. 'Island Man' also contains very powerful language. In the first stanza alone there are many interesting word choices. The word 'wombing' conveys how comforting and secure the Caribbean seems to the man. It is linked to him feeling safer at his place of birth rather than a bustling city like London. ...read more.


This shows how island man's dreams of sea comfort him in his sleep. Virtually no punctuation is used in 'Island Man' to show how relaxed the personality of the man is, however a capital letter is used to mark a turning point in the poem. It is used in 'Comes back to sands' to show that now, the island man is back in London physically and mentally. Grace Nichols relies on sound to make an effective contrast: she makes a clear difference between the breaking of the surf and the roar of the traffic. In conclusion, while these two poems are basically about two very different things, they share many descriptive techniques. I definitely enjoyed both of the poems, but 'Island Man' is the one I prefer. I find it quite easy to relate to because I've had many dreams I haven't wanted to wake up from, and even though I live in a city, the huge amounts of traffic is sometimes daunting to me, as it is to the island man. I found 'Blessing' harder to relate to, as a lack of water isn't something we generally experience in this country. However, the poem makes you want to not take things for granted which I think is a moving sentiment. Amy Reddington 10kh ...read more.

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