Discussion of Imtiaz Dharkers 'Blessing'.

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Sam Allen        English        09/05/07

10LJG        Poetry from other Cultures        JBT


Imtiaz Dharker’s poem can be interpreted in two ways. One, simplistic reading might suggest that the poem is simply a description of an event when a pipe bursts and people run excitedly for the water. 

A deeper  reading, however, would see the poem as being less happy and almost disturbing in places due to not just its theme but also its setting and characters. Under the apparent good fortune and excitement of the scene are ideas about the poverty of the people in the poet’s native country. Either way the attitude to water in the poem should make people in western civilisation wonder at how much they all take for granted, and how too often the earth’s resources are wasted.

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Dharker paints for the reader a vivid scene using strong imagery.  For instance, after opening with a powerful visual image, the poet goes on to make us hear the smallest noise ‘echo/ in a tin mug’, before increasing the sound level with the ‘roar of tongues’ as people descend on the pipe.  It is at this time the reader realises the irony in the title ‘Blessing’. The people are not really blessed – they have little water of their own. Only superstition could lead them to count this ‘municipal pipe’ burst as a blessing.

In reality it shows ...

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