Both poems use lists to create a sense of franticness. In blessing the lists are used to describe the chaos of the villagers trying to collect the water. Dharker lists objects and materials and objects: “pots, brass, copper, aluminium, plastic buckets”. This creates a feeling of lots of things happening at once. In “Night...” a list is used to describe the desperation of the father who has, despite being a sceptic, has resorted to using "every curse and blessing, powder, mixture, herb and hybrid" in the hope of curing his wife.
“Blessing” is presented in four stanzas, each displaying a different atmosphere or mood. The length of the sentences varies throughout the poem, determining the pace. At the beginning the sentences are shorter, making the pace slower and perhaps symbolising the drip of water. In contrast, the sentence starting "from the huts..." is one long continuous sentence to the end of the poem, perhaps this symbolises the continuous flow of the water from the burst pipe. “Night...” has only two stanzas with the majority of the poem in the first stanza, this makes it feel more like a narrative, as if it is a story being told. The final three lines of the poem make up the second stanza. This could be the poet making a division between telling the story as remembered the experience as a young boy and reflecting on it afterwards. It also creates an anticlimactic ending to the poem, because it does not answer the question as to whether the mother survived.
One main difference between the ways the two poems describe the event is that “Blessing” is written in the third person and in the present tense, where as “Night...” is written in the first person and in the past tense. I think Dharker wrote “Blessing” from this perspective because she is stressing the point that the lifestyle of the community in the poem is very different to that of our own,so she uses the third person to illustrate the gap between first and third world countries, and we cannot relate to those living in poverty as we have never experienced such hardship. Perhaps she uses the present tense to remind the reader that people still live in these primitive conditions, which can easily be forgotten in richer societies. I think “Night...” is written in the first person to reflect how personal the story is, we can empathise with the narrator because as the reader we are seeing the experience through his eyes. Ezekiel writes this poem in the past tense because it is a reflection on something that has happened to him in the past.
Both “Blessing” and “Night” use religious imagery showing that the communities in both poems have religious beliefs. In “Blessing” the water is described as “the voice of a kindly god” and the villagers are described as a congregation. In “Night...” the peasants and the holy man perform religious rituals to try and cure the mother. However in “Night...” it is clear that the poet does not seem to share the beliefs of the peasants. He describes them negatively as a “swarm of flies” which itself can be seen as religious imagery resembling the plagues. This is ironic as the peasants claim they are trying to help.
I think that Ezekial is criticising the reactions of the holy man, the peasants and even his father in “Night...” while also admiring his mother’s courage. Perhaps this is one reason why he presented the poem in two stanzas, to reflect the contrast between the frantic reactions of the peasants, holy man and father, and the calm selflessness that the mother displays in the second stanza.
In “Blessing” I think Dharker was making the point that we in western civilisation take things for granted. Something as simple as water is seen as precious and a gift from a god in her culture. This is captured in the image of the children she uses at the end of the poem. This is an image of happiness, but the mention of their “small bones” reminds us that they are fragile, as are the lives of everyone in the community in such a hostile climate.