Wednesday, June 10, 2020

"Indian ponies" in James Wright's "A Blessing"

The two horses in James Wright's "A Blessing" are "Indian ponies", which admits the displacement of Native Americans into the poem's evocation of a moment of communion with nature. The history of European expansion is even present in those very horses, a species brought to North America by Europeans, as well as in the demarcation of the land that is inscribed in the space of this "blessing": the poem begins "just off the highway", and after the speaker and his friend see the ponies, they "step over the barbed wire into the pasture." The speaker thus experiences communion with a nature whose history leaves traces in the representation of that experience. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 10 June)


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