Essay - James Wright's 'A Blessing' is a Poem that Celebrates the...


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James Wright's "A Blessing" is a poem that celebrates the wonders of nature, particularly the animal world, and expresses the poet's strong desire to become one with that world - ***** ***** extent of, at least momentarily, leaving the human world behind.

The poem begins with a fairly straightforward description ***** a car ride: "Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, / Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass." Right away, it becomes apparent ***** ***** poet has left the world of human civilization behind, as his immediate observations are taken up ***** nature; he is clearly more interested in the twilight on the gr*****s than he is in ***** *****, and the rest of the poem will be taken ***** w*****h evocations of nature, the "here and now," rather ***** the place from *****ich ***** poem just came. This effectively gives the poem a feeling of placelessness, of being situated somewhere outside of time, where the only thing that truly matters is what happens in each l*****e of the short *****.

Upon arriving at this isolated stretch, a place that is never explicitly named, as the arrival *****ly gives r*****e to description, the poet ***** his friend are met by two Indian ponies:

They have come gladly out of ***** willows

To welcome my friend and me.

We step over the barbed wire in***** ***** pasture

Where they ***** been grazing all day, alone.

Upon *****ping "over the barbed wire" and into the pasture, ***** poet and his ***** are effectively ***** the human world behind - symbolized by ***** ***** wire, an industrially produced product - and into the wilds of nature - the pasture ***** the ***** Indian ***** graze.

***** poet goes on to describe the ponies' happiness upon making contact with *****ir human visitors: "They bow shyly as wet swans. ***** love each other. / There is no loneliness like theirs."

This last line is particularly curious. For, if the ponies have one another for company, and c*****arly love ***** another, as the poet asserts, then why are they simultaneously lonely?

It seems that ***** question finds its answer in the following line: "At ho***** once more..." As ***** ***** certainly have not gone anywhere, the ***** reason ***** they are now "at *****me," whereas be*****e they were not, is because their two ***** friends have come to visit them. The implic*****ion, then, is that the ponies, despite having one another, will always be lonely *****out human companionship. This is why "there is no ***** like theirs," to quote Wright - *****, in other words, is a peculi*****r kind of loneliness ***** exceeds the ***** definition of loneliness.

***** second half ***** the poem is dedicated to ***** poet's desire ***** make physical contact with one of the ponies:

would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,

For she has walked over to me

***** nuzzled my left hand.

In many ways, the second half ***** the poem solves ***** *****stery of the

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