The poem Blessing by Imtiaz Dhaker is set in India just outside the bustling city of Bombay. The poem is set in the dry season in India and shows the suffering from the lack of water as well as the blessing of water. Imtiaz Dhaker focuses on sound and visuals in this eye-opening poem. Here is how Imtiaz Dhaker shows the important aspects of life within the Indian culture.
The poem starts with a simple bold statement, ‘the skin cracks like a pond. There is never enough water’. The simile shows the reader how dry it actually is.
The next verse starts with the word ‘Imagine’, this magnifies the paragraph and makes the reader think and picture the poet’s words more. Imtiaz Dhaker shows the beauty and how amazing the water is by making the reader imagine the sound of the water. ‘Imagine the drip of it, the small splash, echo in a tin mug, the voice of a kindly God’. The poet shows how wonderful the sound of water is by describing it as ‘the voice of a kindly God’.
Imtiaz Dhaker speeds up the tone of the poem in the next verse. By doing this it shows the hurry of the water-starved people in the dry season to get a drop of water. This also makes the reader picture the water rushing out and through the pipes. ‘The sudden rush of fortune. The municipal pipe bursts’. ‘Silver crashing to the ground’ this shows the value of water and how sacred t is because it is described as silver.
‘The flow has found a roar of tongues. From the huts, a congregation: every man woman child for the streets around butts in, with pots, brass, copper, aluminium, plastic buckets, frantic hands’. This speeds up the poem and makes the reader feel the rush of the people running and hurrying to get the water. The poet also shows how desperate the people are for the water by speeding up the tempo and making the sentences shorter. It also makes the reader imagine the water bursting out of the pipes.
The pause between the verses make the reader think and reflect. The following verse shows the joy and how much of a blessing the water is to the people that have to endure the drought. But it also shows that the joy is short lived. ‘Naked children screaming in the liquid sun, their highlights polished to perfection, flashing light, as the blessing sings over their small bones’. The ending can be interoperated in many ways. For me the mention of bones brings a dark element to the poem. It shows that the moment and miraculous blessing will last for a short while. You may never see these children again.
The poem District Six by Tatamkhulu Afrika is set in District Six an unofficial settlement outside of Cape Town. During apartheid it was raised to the ground and was a large contrast to the multicultural town before. This is an autobiographical piece of poetry and Tatamkhulu Afrika shows his anger at what has happened to the place he feels is home. This powerful poem is written in the present even though it happened in the past. This makes the poem immediate and vivid experience. This is how Tatamkhulu Afrika shows powerful aspects of his culture.
The first verse gives you a sense that Tatamkhulu is coming back to a changed home almost like a deserted barren land. It also builds tension to what is coming later on in the poem. ‘Small round hard stones click under my heels, seeding grasses thrust’.
‘District Six. No board says it is: but my feet know, and my hands, and the skin about my bones, and the soft labouring of my lungs, and the hot, white, inwards turning of my eyes’. The poet shows that he knows that this is home but it angers him the state of is beautiful home. The poet makes you feel the tension build as his anger is shown.
The next verse shows us the white world. The ‘incipient Port Jackson trees’ and the ‘whites only inn’. This gives us an insight into the apartheid world. Tatamkhulu Afrika uses his sentence structure to make the reader also feel the anger of which he is feeling.
The two lines alone ‘No sign says it is: but we know where we belong’, shows how disregarded the blacks of South Africa where. They know that they are not welcome in a whites only area; this shows the experience of the apartheid.
The two restraints are symbolic of the apartheid. The whites only inn is symbolic of the comforted and cushioned life the whites led, and the workingman’s cafe shows the undignified and poor life the blacks went through.
‘I press my nose to the clear panes, know, before I see them, there will be crushed ice white glass, linen falls, the single rose’. Tatamkhulu shows his resentment and his bitterness towards this sweet and indulgent life. All he was left with were bunny chows. ‘Wipe your hands on your jeans, spit a little on the floor: it’s in the bone’. This is ironic and magnifies his bitterness towards the stereotype of the blacks and the whites ‘superiority’ over the blacks in apartheid.
‘I back from the glass, boy again, leaving small O of small, mean mouth. Hands burn for a stone, a bomb, to shiver down the glass. Nothings changed’. Tatamkhulu still feels the divide is there. This is symbolised by the glass, he doesn’t want to throw a stone at it like when he was a little child, he wants to destroy the divide for once and for all with a bomb to end the apartheid.