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Island Man and Blessing Assignment

In ‘Island Man’ written by Nichols and ‘Blessing’ written by Dharker, dreams are portrayed, but in different situations. The poets explore the meaning of dreams and the happiness they can bring if made true. ‘Island Man’ and ‘Blessing’ similarly show that the people they are about are not happy with their normal lives. The want and need something new to happen. The island man is bored with his life, whereas the village of people rejoice when their dream comes true after the “silver crashes to the ground”. Both poems use language in different ways to portray the effect of dreams.

In ‘Island Man’ the colours that are used are to describe the different locations, for example, “blue surf” and “emerald island” show that the island is precious and idyllic, those colours are also relaxing and calm colours of the sea. In addition “grey metallic” gives the effect of dullness and a monotonous surrounding. In ‘Blessing’ there is not as much colour used as onomatopoeias, for instance “splash”, “rush”, “flow” and “crashes”. These words all have an association with water because that is the dream the villagers had, more water.

Dharker has included a lot of religious language to the poem as well as if to say the water they were given was a gift from God, when in fact it was just a burst town pipe. The poet uses words such as “kindly god”, “congregation” and “blessing” to get his message across of the village being religious and thanking the gods they finally have water. Plosive illiteration is also included with describing the pots and pans put out to collect the water for the villagers. The dream in ‘Island Man’ however is quite different and he does not get the satisfaction of it ever happening to him.

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The poem tells us that he wants to be in the Caribbean under the warm sun and with the calming sea but in the end he just wakes up to “another London day”. In both poems there is enjambment and a bit of illiteration to show irregularity and to give the poems a flow. The structure of both poems is similar but to reveal different meanings. The structure in ‘Island Man’ includes enjambment all the way through to demonstrate that the man has just woken up and his thoughts are all mixed up and not in order, so therefore the poems structure is mixed up and not in order.

Blessing’ on the other hand has enjambment most of the way through, this is because the poem is about water and so the poem flows. Dharker restricted the amount of punctuation to make the reader read through the poem quickly as fast as the flow of water and with the chaos of the villagers the poem would be interpreted so it is read faster. Both the island man and the blessing contain ideas relating to water and its affect both on the individual seeking solace and its power as a unifying force.

The ideas behind ‘Blessing’ are that in the culture of the east, water is not just survival day to day it is hope as well. So when the water pipe bursts their hearts burst with joy and happiness because they finally have clean water to drink and bathe in. The poem contains a huge amount of hope that one day the established order will change and the water is a personification of that.

The water that pours into the village affects everyone there because they are all so deprived of water and thirsty that they all need some, it is good that the “water gets everywhere” so that everyone can receive some. Island Man’ contains the idea of water through the dream of the Caribbean and the calm blue seas of where the man used to live and moved away to London to live alone. The sounds of the surf and still in his head and no-one else can hear them; it is as if he is alone with nobody to talk to about it, because no-one will understand his longing for the Caribbean.

All because he is alone. The two poems create very different emotions through their use of tone throughout. Island Man’ generates feelings of melancholy and lament through the use of “another London day” it does this because the island man does not want to return to reality and face the chaotic polluted world that he is in, he would rather be in his home land. The reader can try to understand what the man is going through but they cannot fully understand him. On the other hand ‘Blessing’ utilizes phrases such as “polished to perfection” and “the sudden rush of fortune” that generate very opposite emotions.

The poem is based around the idea of hope and joy. These feelings are generated because the people that are in poverty and need water the most get it, and knowing that someone got what they need makes the reader feel better for them and emotive towards them. I felt that the island man was a realistic portrayal of what immigration may be like in today’s world, whilst blessing despite its message of hope has few lessons that can be applied to Britain’s current social context.

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