James Wright’s A Blessing Essay

“A Blessing” by James Wright

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Merely off the main road to Rochester. Minnesota.
Twilight bounds quietly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come lief out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the biting wire into the grazing land
Where they have been croping all twenty-four hours. entirely.
They ripple tensely. they can barely incorporate their felicity That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no solitariness like theirs.
At place one time more.
They begin crunching the immature tussocks of spring in the darkness. I would wish to keep the slenderer one in my weaponries.
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left manus.
She is black and white.
Her mane falls wild on her brow.
And the light zephyr moves me to fondle her long ear
That is delicate as the tegument over a girl’s carpus.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my organic structure I would interrupt
Into flower.

James Wright composes “A Blessing. ” by presenting a storyteller who recalls a memory about an experience he had with a friend on a trip about Rochester. Minnesota. On this trip. the storyteller and his friend brush two Indian ponies. one of which appears to do a marked impact on the storyteller. Rather than depict what the scenery may look like or how his friend is experiencing about the trip. the storyteller immediately speaks of the ponies and continues to talk of them for the balance of the verse form. However. “A Blessing” leaves many inquiries to be asked. Why does James Wright make up one’s mind to merely arouse one of the two ponies his storyteller brushs? Why does he fluctuate between the physical and the mental. which divides the subjects in his verse form? What does Wright seek to carry through by packing “A Blessing” with initial rhyme. vowel rhyme. and consonant rhyme? Is at that place any individuality to be found within his carefully placed lines and what does the reader take away from the varying tenses throughout Wright’s verse form? Wright fills several lines of “A Blessing” with vowel rhyme to make assortments of construction for his verse form. Wright believes that the minute between his storyteller and the ponies is cherished and delicate.

Therefore. he used one stanza to craft his verse form because he does non desire to disrupt their meeting. If the verse form would hold been constructed into changing stanzas. the verse form would be broken instead than one witting idea or action. By maintaining the verse form as one stanza the narrator’s interaction with the ponies is untasted. It is unbroken whole and beautiful. The construction of the verse form is a direct comparing to the religious relationship between the storyteller and the ponies. Wright begins with this delicate subject with the soft “o” sound in “softly” and “ponies” in lines two and three. The soft sound connects quietly and ponies and by making so sets the scene for the reader that the kindness the ponies display to the storyteller and his friend is the beginning of the impact they make on the storyteller. Wright provides textual grounds of this compassion by stating the readers. “And the eyes of the two Indian ponies / Darken with kindness” ( 3-4 ) . Wright continues with initial rhyme in lines five through eight with the “w” at the beginning of “willow. ” “welcome. ” “we. ” “wire. ” and “where. ” When spoken aloud. the repeat of the “w” sounds like the snorting a Equus caballus makes. which can be displayed as a salutation towards the storyteller and his friend. The initial rhyme continues in lines nine through 12 with repeat of the “th” sound in “they. ” “that. ” “there. ” and “theirs. ” The “th” sounds like the clump on the land of the pony’s hooves while they move towards the storyteller. The motion of the ponies is a mark of openness and welcome. Approaching the terminal of the verse form. Wright comes back to the “o” sound once more in “forehead. ” long. ” and “over. ”

This sound softens the minute between the female pony and the storyteller. This differentiation helps the reader comprehend the familiarity the storyteller feels with the female pony. The soft “o” sound besides imitates the sound of person sighing ; an action that frequently displays an emotion of tenderness or attention. In the same lines. Wright uses both initial rhyme and consonant rhyme with the repeat of the “f” and “l” sounds. “falls. ” “forehead. ” “light. ” “long. ” and “delicate. ” The initial rhyme and consonant rhyme reflect the gradualness that was created by the “o” sound. Wright uses initial rhyme one last clip in his concluding lines with the usage of “b” in “body. ” “break. ” and “blossom. ” The “b” used in Wright’s reasoning two lines. “That if I stepped out of my organic structure I would interrupt / Into flower. ” ( 23-24 ) . “B” as a sound is explosive when it comes out of a speaker’s oral cavity. This motion of the oral cavity parallels the narrator’s detonation of exhilaration and realisation of his find. Throughout the verse form. the storyteller expresses his enthusiasm towards this meeting with the ponies. It was of import to Wright to stop of the verse form on this explosive note so that it parallels the narrator’s exhilaration in the beginning. The initial rhyme. consonant rhyme. and vowel rhyme create an emotional discharge through “A Blessing. ” Each of the sounds created throughout the verse form help the reader better comprehend the emotions the storyteller is experiencing during that given clip. “A Blessing” begins in the present tense. By utilizing the present tense. the reader can conceive of the actions in the verse form as the storyteller does them. In different tenses. certain words carry different intensions.

The present tense makes the reader feel as though they are watching the eyes of the ponies darken or as if they are stepping over the biting wire with the storyteller and his friend. By depicting the beginning of the verse form in present tense. the storyteller seems more dependable to the reader. The emotions and actions appear existent because they are being done as the audience reads them. The present tense creates a sense of familiarity between the storyteller and the reader because they are in melody to the actions he is executing or the effects he is seeing. In line 16. Wright changes the tense from present to past. Up until that point. the verse form is written in the present tense as Wright describes for his audience what actions the storyteller takes as he approaches the Equus caballuss. In line 16. instead than depicting the minute as it is go oning. Wright chose to state that the pony walked over to him. in the past tense: “For she walked over to me” ( 16 ) . The tense alteration is disconnected and grabs the reader’s attending. The reader’s attending is drawn deeper into the relationship between the storyteller and the ponies. The storyteller besides seems less dependable for he is telling the thoughts instead than speech production of them as they are go oning. The dependability besides plays in consequence towards to relationship between the storyteller and the ponies. The past tense and the dependability make the last half of the verse form visible radiation and flighty. This flighty atmosphere relates to the nonnatural connexion between the storyteller and the ponies. Line sixteen non merely begins the tense alteration but it is besides the flood tide of the verse form. Wright and his friend had been waiting the full verse form to do contact with the Indian ponies.

Wright displayed their avidity throughout the first 15 lines of “A Blessing” by constructing the expectancy within his storyteller and the audience. Wright wants his readers to recognize how critical the minute shared between the female pony and his storyteller is. “A Blessing” is composed of two divisions. the physical and the mental. The beginning 10 lines describe physical actions performed or things physically seen by the storyteller. Wright’s storyteller references that. “And the eyes of those two Indian ponies / Darken with kindness” ( 3-4 ) . These two lines describe something seen by the storyteller. By depicting what Wright’s storyteller is seeing as he draws closer to the ponies allows the reader to understand and visualise for themselves what is being felt by the ponies and how their physical visual aspect and demeanour alterations. To the ponies. the storyteller and his friend are aliens. For most animate beings it is natural when aliens enter their district they become territorial and act in aggression towards the unknown. For the ponies to non move in their natural inherent aptitudes towards the storyteller and his friend shows compassion. This compassion hints at an unobserved bond between the four characters. “We measure over the biting wire into the grazing land / Where they have been croping all twenty-four hours. alone” ( 7-8 ) .

Wright uses lines seven and eight for the storyteller and his comrade to take physical action. where they cross the boundary between themselves and the Indian ponies. The storyteller watches a physical action taken by the ponies as their eyes darken and they became more aroused as the storyteller and his comrade draw nearer. When a individual or animate being feels excited. their eyes of course widen. leting more light into their eyes doing their students to widen and their eyes to look darker. Directly predating line four. Wright’s storyteller says. “They have come lief out of the willows / To welcome my friend and me” ( 5-6 ) . The eyes of the ponies show this natural attractive force which is so straight followed by them coming to recognize the storyteller. The ponies are of course attracted to the storyteller and his friend. In lines eleven and twelve. Wright begins his first emotional division. Line eleven shows a physical action taken by the ponies. “They bow shyly as wet swans” ( 11 ) . However. Wright follows that sentence instantly. in the same line. with an emotional 1. “They love each other” ( 11 ) .

Line 11 is the lone line where Wright formatted two sentences on one line. This is a development to pull attending to the importance of the ponies’ actions. Love is an emotion and therefore is non something that can physically be seen. However. actions between two participants are used to expose fondness. which is frequently interpreted as love. Wright besides describes the solitariness of the Equus caballuss. another emotion that can non be physically seen but is frequently portrayed by the 1 who is experiencing lonely. “There is no solitariness like theirs” ( 12 ) . The Equus caballuss bowing their caputs can be seen as a mark of solitariness because by bowing their caputs they are concealing their faces. which shield their emotions. If the ponies were happy. they would hold no demand to protect their delicate emotions. To be in love but to be lonely are non two emotions one would typically put together. Love is an emotion that is shared between two comrades. If two people are present. one would presume that there should be no sense of solitariness because two people are together.

However. Wright puts these together successfully which draws the reader to go invested in the emotional province of the ponies and it shows that the storyteller himself is invested in the ponies. From lines 14s to twenty. Wright begins to float back into the physical division by depicting the female pony. her actions towards the storyteller. and his actions against her. The Equus caballus nuzzles the narrator’s left manus and a light zephyr moves him to pet her. “For she had walked over to me / And nuzzled my left hand” ( 16-17 ) and “And the visible radiation zephyr moves me to fondle her long ear” ( 20 ) . Each of these actions shows emotion. presumptively love or lecherousness. which Wright described in earlier lines. By making actions that exude an emotion Wright ties action and emotion together as if they are one entity. The relationship that Wright shows between the storyteller and the ponies is religious in that worlds can non physically have relationships with animate beings. However. the storyteller continues to stress the emotional draw he has towards these beautiful animals. The storyteller is going all the more embroiled in this particular brush with the ponies. In the concluding sentence which consisted of lines 22. 23 and 24. Wright comes full circle and ends with a mental or emotional division.

He leaves the storyteller believing to himself that if he was able to step out of his organic structure that he would bloom. Wright uses blossom as a term of development for his storyteller that his experience with the ponies has so greatly affected him that he feels he has now grown and grown so much so that he can hold an out of organic structure experience. “Suddenly I realize / That if I step out of my organic structure I would interrupt / Into blossom” ( 22-24 ) . Blooming can besides be used to depict the freedom the ponies have of being outside free to roll their grazing land and belong in nature. By nature. ponies are wild animate beings. free of any duties. The nature of the ponies and the nature of the storyteller are direct contrasts to each other. The ponies are unrestricted and the storyteller is looking for this freedom which is why he is so fascinated by them. Wright’s usage of emotional and physical divisions throughout his verse form illustrates the narrator’s inner convulsion between what he wants and what he physically has. The storyteller wants to be free to roll about. like the ponies. but instead he is human and therefore possesses day-to-day duties. He is striving to happen what he is looking for and discoveries beauty in the freedom that the ponies are allowed. Wright uses the divisions to change the attending of the reader and split his one stanza verse form.

“A Blessing” has an unostentatious individuality. one in which the talker is trusting for a opportunity to fall in the ponies in another life. Wright references on several occasions interrupting or traversing a barrier. He begins in his first line. “Just off the main road to Rochester. Minnesota. ” ( 1 ) where the storyteller is bridging the spread between manmade “the highway” and nature “just away. ” He so continues to “We measure over the biting wire into the grazing land. ” ( 7 ) . In this line. the storyteller and his comrade are physically stepping over the barrier between themselves and the ponies. Approaching the terminal of the verse form. Wright breaks the physical barrier between the storyteller and the ponies when one of them touches his left manus. “And nuzzled my left hand” ( 17 ) . Each of these barrier crossings can be viewed as transitions to an hereafter. Each of these barriers must be crossed in order for him to be efficaciously revitalized. Wright references reawakening in the last two lines of his verse form. “That if I stepped out of my organic structure I would interrupt / Into blossom” ( 23-24 ) . The storyteller mentioned earlier in the verse form that the ponies were of Indian descent. It is common belief in many Indian or Native American folks that rebirth or reawakening is a portion of their spiritual doctrines. This reawakening contributes to the narrator’s relationship with the ponies. The relationship shared between the storyteller and the ponies is religious and in the last two lines the storyteller expresses his demand of desiring to be as close with them as possible. Therefore. he desires to step across these boundary lines and fall in the ponies so that they can be together. Wright’s storyteller is seeking for himself in the ponies and within the nature around them. He hopes that these events will exceed into a rejuvenating experience.

He besides gives merely one of the ponies an individuality. He describes one of them as female and personifies her with human features. In line 15 he describes her as “the slender one” and in line 18 he calls to her colourising “black and white. ” In lines 19 and 21 he talks about the manner her hair falls and how delicate her tegument is. By giving the pony human features. the reader can see that this pony was perchance person the storyteller had known in another life. The ponies can non recognize the storyteller as the storyteller would recognize a fellow homo. To bridge the spread between animate being and homo. the storyteller personifies the ponies. James Wright composed a verse form of enlightenment and wonder. Wright draws his readers in by making graphic images. He developed a new manner to entertain the thought of love. The relationship between the storyteller and the ponies is one of endearment which is normally seen between two worlds instead than an animate being and a human. The religious relationship held between the storyteller and the ponies. particularly the female pony. is the footing of everything the storyteller does and depict before and after the brush.

Wright has created new interpretative descriptions of traversing into another life-time. He developed a life where animate beings and worlds can walk as one and where worlds can walk every bit freely as animate beings. He besides incorporated the common human demand for greening and created “A Blessing” as a new manner to carry through that human demand. James Wright developed a verse form that touched on several subjects. conveying them all together to make a coherent and carry throughing new life.


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