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 ***** the poet has left ***** world of ***** civilization behind, as his immediate observations are taken up with nature; he is clearly more interested in the twilight on the gr*****s than he ***** ***** the highway, ***** the rest ***** the ***** will be taken up with evocations of nature, ***** "here and now," rather than the place from which ***** poem just came. This effectively gives the poem a feeling ***** placelessness, of being situated somewhere outside of time, where the only thing that truly matters is what happens in each l*****e ***** the short poem.

Upon arriving at this isolated stretch, a place ***** 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 the willows

To welcome my friend and me.

We step over the barbed wire into ***** p*****ture

Where they have been grazing all day, alone.

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

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

Th***** last line is particularly curious. For, if the ponies ***** one another for company, and clearly love one 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 the ***** certainly have not gone anywhere, the only reason ***** ***** are now "at home," whereas before they were not, is because their two human *****s have come to visit them. The implic*****ion, then, is that the ponies, despite having one another, will always be ***** without human companionship. This is why "there is no loneliness like theirs," to quote Wright - *****, in other words, ***** a peculiar k*****d of ***** ***** exceeds the human definition of loneliness.

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

would like ***** hold the slenderer one in my arms,

For she ***** walked ***** to me

***** nuzzled my left h*****.

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

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