Poems from different cultures revision- Blessing

Looks at deeper meaning of the poem, themes in the poem, background of 'blessing' and use of language.

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Blessing- Imtiaz Dharker
Imtiaz dharker lives in Mumbai in India where during the dry season the temperature can
reach up to 40 degrees. The poem is set in a vast area of temporary accommodation
called Dharavi on the outskirts of Mumbai, where millions of migrants have gathered
from other parts of India and there is always a shortage of water because it is not an
official living area.
In this poem the municipal pipe bursts in the village and lots of people gather around it.
The poem begins with the statement `there is never enough water' and shows what it is
like to be without water with the phrase `the skin cracks like a pod' because the weather
is so hot they get dry skin.
The poet mentions water and it is seen as so special it is compared to a god of some
When the water pipe bursts it shows how an Indian community would respond because
they all collect as much water as possible.
The children enjoy having the opportunity to play in water because it is a rare
The short stanzas in the poem which are stanza 1 and 2 show what it is like to be without
water. The longer stanzas 3 and 4 show the effect water has on a community that has
no running water.
Stanza three refers to men, women and children but stanza 4 focuses on the children
alone as the water pours over their `small bones'.
The different reactions of the adults and the children to the pipe bursting are that the
adults come out to the pipe with `pots, brass, copper, aluminium, plastic buckets, frantic
hands' so that they can collect the water for use within the family. However the children
view it as fun and games as they are `screaming in the liquid sun' they are innocent and
do not realise how valuable this opportunity is to the adults who are not usually allowed
to use the water that comes from this pipe.
The poet chose to end her poem this way because it shows how bad their living
conditions are. An occasion such as a water pipe bursting is very important to them
because clean water is very rare. The children's `small bones' suggest that they are
really tiny and skinny because they do not have enough to eat. However the whole
experience is very positive for the village.

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The poem opens with a striking visual image of the skin cracking because it is so dried
out with the hot weather. `The skin cracks like a pod', a pod usually cracks open. With
this line I imagine the skin being sore and painful because it has cracked open like a pod
would. The effect this simile has on me is..…read more


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