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Analysis of Wright’s Poem: “A Blessing” Essay

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Updated: Feb 25th, 2022

Loneliness is the leading emotion in Wright’s poem, “A Blessing,” as can be deduced from the speaker and ponies’ feelings towards each other. The poet depicts the two horses as experiencing seclusion because they have been isolated from humankind. Essentially, Wright uses the horses to impart solitude in his audience by noting, “There is no loneliness like theirs” (line 12). A critical review of the poet’s attachment and concern about the horses’ condition reveals that Wright might have been talking about his own desire for human companionship.

“A Blessing” seems prosaic from a quick glance, although a critical review reveals a scant use of poetic devices, such as imagery and paradox. The poem abounds in a clever use of creative figures of speech to create succinct mental images of the scenes depicted by the writer. In essence, Wright has used similes, such as “shyly as wet swans” (line 11) and “delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist” (line 21) to prompt the audience’s perspectives of the scenes. Further, the poet uses paradox in line four, which reads, “Darken with kindness,” denoting the prevailing mood. Hence, the writer uses imagery to create scenes and advance the solitude emotion.

“A Blessing” is a 24-line free-version poem in which Wright does not use a formal or strict rhyme pattern. Rather, the poet uses a non-metrical scheme characterized by incidents of half-rhyme phrases, which give the poem a unique sound flow. Examples of the words used to create the sound pattern include “softly forth” and the “e” sound in “shyly” and loneliness in lines two, eleven, and twelve, respectively. Besides, the poem features a consistent use of active verbs and repetitions, such as the use of the word “they” from line nine to twelve, giving the literary work a consistent sound pattern.

Wright’s poem could be interpreted as featuring several primary messages, as it is a literary work, which could be understood differently from diverse perspectives. In essence, the poem is centered on the human quest for harmony with nature. The writer must cross the symbolic boundary of barbed wire to reunite with the natural environment represented by the two Indian ponies. Notably, the encounter is so sensuous that the speaker wants to embrace the horses in his arms, prompting his speculations of a superior lifeform in a redesigned or consummated world.

Work Cited

Wright, James. “A Blessing.” Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1982, pp. 242-243.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Analysis of Wright’s Poem: “A Blessing”'. 25 February.

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