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The poem “Blessing” by Imtiaz Dharker; an award-winning female British poet born in Lahore, Pakistan. The poem is an incident of a municipal pipe that bursts in the deprived slums of Mumbai and how people run with mugs and pots to collect the precious liquid. With the use many poetic techniques and literary devices, Imtiaz Dharker tries to emphasise the poverty that these people live in and how rare drinking water is for these people.
This is the first stanza of the poem “Blessing” a couplet with power. Here “The skin cracks” literally means a person’s skin that has shrivelled from the constant exposure to the sun or maybe like the dry and dusty ground that cracks during droughts but also implies pain and discomfort because the skin is one of the most important organs of the body. Describing the skin cracking like a “pod” suggests that people are “breaking” due to the lack of the main life source: water, which is the title of the poem for the people in poverty, a “Blessing.
”The second stanza of the poem which is a quatrain. As the poet introduces us to “imagine the drip of it,” the sound of the words make you feel like you are in that situation and are thirsty like a man in the desert hallucinating about that thirst-quenching drop of water. The pleasing clanging of the consonants “echoing” “tin” and “mug” deliver such a solid image of how precious water is for these people. The poet then describes this sound of water as the “voice of a kindly god” because it emphasizes that often people in this situation (where water is rare) think this is an act of god.
The penultimate stanza, the longest one which is 11 lines. “the sudden rush of fortune” like someone winning the jackpot on a slot machine and the money is pouring out of it. This is a very clever way of how the poet joins financial wealth and water in that part. You might notice how the water is “silver” which is far more expensive than something like “brass, copper, aluminium, plastic buckets, frantic hands” that scramble to capture a bit of the precious resource. The poet also uses the word “silver” to show how precious a commodity is. The fact that the “municipal pipe” broke was a mistake on the authorities side – the burst and the water got out, it makes me think of the corrupt people in the authorities that could help the poor but don’t
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