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I am trying to write an explication of the poem "A Blessing" by James Wright. I want to...

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cmaster2 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2010 at 12:55 AM via web

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I am trying to write an explication of the poem "A Blessing" by James Wright. I want to write about imagery, but I don't know how. Can anyone help? 

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 3, 2010 at 3:28 AM (Answer #1)

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This beautiful poem "A Blessing" by James Wright uses the image of a horse to represent the refreshing balm of nature on the tired dusty souls of people stressed out by modern living and commuting. One minute the travellers are on the interminable boring highway separated from the natural world by windscreen glass, smoke, fog, fumes and road dust. Perhaps they have the radio or cd player on too, barking out the monotonous news or weather or tinny-sounding music. They are in their own little modern micro-environment in their car, like all the other commuters. It doesnt really matter if it is cars or trains or whatever - it is the separateness from nature that counts. Then they are in the sweet pur fresh air, the silence and the soft nuzzle of two wild things.

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 3, 2010 at 5:03 AM (Answer #2)

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The most important images in the poem are the ponies coming to welcome the speaker, the speaker touching the horse so lovingly that he imagines it is a girl, and the speaker feeling he would blossom if he stepped out of his body. The speaker takes us from the lonely human world into the beautiful natural world, breaking down the barriers between the two. Then the speaker compares the two worlds, noting that the horses would be considered lonely in the human world, but in the natural world, they are quite content. He then realizes, after caressing the horse who nudges him, that if he could leave his body, he would "break/Into blossom." Of course, the speaker cannot do this physically, but his realization is that humans can accomplish this spiritually by communing with and appreciating the beauty in nature. The speaker feels he is blessed to have had this experience and to come to this realization.

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