10 What are your first impressions of the poem? ‘Blessing’ byWhat are your first impressions of the poem?Do you like it?Why/ Why not?
11 Blessing What can the word ‘Blessing’ mean? A gift from God AND a prayer for a special occasion.Now read the poem.What ‘blessing’ is being referred to?The central metaphor of the poem is the idea of water as a gift from God.Look at stanzas 1 & 2 – what situation is described?Look at stanzas 3 & 4 – what events are being described?
12 There are a number of different possible reactions to the scenario presented in this poem. The poet does not express any opinion directly but presents us with a series of images.Think about the possible reactions. The reader could:Be angry about the water shortagePity the people who have to live without a constant water supplyBlame these people for their own povertyShare their excitement when the pipe burstsSee their excitement as patheticSee life as fragile and easily damagedSee life as beautifulThink their suffering is intense.
13 Blessing: the images Images Effect The skin cracks like a pod The voice of a kindly godThe sudden rush/ of fortuneSilver crashes to the groundA roar of tonguesFrantic handsThe liquid sunTheir highlights polished to perfection
14 What impact might each image have on the reader? A few hints:‘Pod’ – a disturbing image‘Drip/ kindly god’ – a contradiction? (if the god is kindly why only a drip?‘Highlights polished’ – seems inanimate‘small bones’ – weak? Is beauty fragile?
15 Language and Structure Note:The use of short and long sentences. Where do they occur and why?The list of objects – what sort are they?The unequal stanza lengths – why might this be?The way the poem addresses the reader directly with the word “Imagine ”.What is the effect of these features?