The theme of the poem is showing the differences between the rich and the poor. This is done by displayed by the lack of water for the poor. “silver crashes to the ground”
To these people water is just as valuable as silver, to them water is there wealth. Imtiaz Dharker uses silver as it is similar to water in colour. This metaphor is also repeated when it says “polished to perfection”
Many different poetic techniques have been used to create an image in the readers head. “Imagine the drip of it, the small splash, echo in a tin mug” the uses of onomatopoeias helps create a clear image.
I enjoyed reading this poem very much as the poet uses different techniques to show reality in poorer countries. Having the title as “Blessing” is also very good as it shows the water as holy and something to be worshiped. “Flashing light, as the blessing sings, over their small bones.” In this poem the water is also a metaphor for religion. The flashing light is the light of god and the water splashing over there small bones, is symbolising baptism.
The poem is set out in six stanzas, each of eight fairly short lines. This kind of regularity in the layout creates a sense of control: the poet is very clear about what he is feeling and not suddenly flying into a rage.
But within that pattern the length of the sentences varies from a whole stanza to just two words. To explore the effect of the sentence structure in the poem, look at these examples:
The structure is clearly divided into six stanzas, each of eight fairly short lines, appropriate for the clearly divided apartheid society and for a poem about ” District Six. ‘
The rhyme of, ‘heels’, ‘seeds’ and ‘weeds’ perhaps suggests the footsteps that the stanza begins with.
The second stanza concentrates on strong images of body parts.
“But my feet know, and my hands, and the skin about my bones, and the soft labouring of my lungs, and the hot white, inward turning anger of my eyes.”
This could be suggesting how closely the poet’s is tied to the place.
The third stanza uses angry words like, ‘brash’, ‘flaring’ which shows the
poet’s anger leading up to the ‘gatepost’ and the injustice of the ‘whites only inn.’
Note the pun on the word, ‘inn’ meaning both a place to stay and the act of
entering. The alliteration of, ‘guard at the gatepost’ draws attention to this part of
the poem which holds the key issue.
The fourth stanza contains images of, ‘glass’ which is a good image for
the invisible barrier of apartheid separating white and black people. The line, ‘No
sign says it is’ echoes the line in the second stanza; in apartheid it is what is NOT
said that is important i.e. people in power don’t like to talk about the division of whites and black but it happens all the same.
The fourth stanza’s, ‘crushed ice white glass’ belongs to the rich white
areas and contrasts with the fifth stanza’s ‘plastic table’s top’ that is for the poor
black people. The line, ‘it’s in the bone’ suggests that this divide is the result of
people’s bodies, their race and colour.
The sixth stanza again shows anger, a desire for, ‘a stone, a bomb’ to
break the glass and symbolically to end the separation between white and black.
Yet the last line, ‘nothing’s changed’ suggests that the author has little hope that
such an action would make things better. A pessimistic ending.