Dharker and Ezekiel both use several different methods of describing a significant event in some person’s life. Blessing describes a water pipe which bursts in what seems to be a dry Asian country, possibly poverty stricken. The poet describes how the people of the town reacted to the burst pipe. Night of the Scorpion however, appears to describe when Ezekiel’s mother was stung by a scorpion and the events that unfolded as the poison coursed through her body, and the reactions from his father and people of the village.
Both poems use onomatopoeia in their attempt to convey the events in question, however ‘drip’ is used to describe how the water pipe would usually distribute water which creates a negative tone, as does ‘buzzing’ in the Night of the Scorpion. The ‘drip’ of water highlights what land and life was probably like before the event of the pipe bursting; dry and harsh. The lack of water is then contrasted greatly with the ‘sudden rush.’ In the Night of the Scorpion ‘buzzing’ is used to describe how the people of the village chanted for the woman that was stung, it also suggests they may have been an annoyance to the woman during the event that unfolds as a buzz can be an immensely irritating sound in the wrong situation.
Secondly, personification is used to emphasise the severity and possible violence involved in the events. ‘Roar of tongues’ sounds menacing and threatening, as does ‘flame feeds’. ‘Roar of tongues,’ used in Blessing, gives an impression that the people of the village were threatening and animal like in the way they drank the gushing water. The ‘roar’ could also be a likening to the water which is rushing out of the pipe. The fact that fire (flame) from the paraffin is said to ‘feed’ on Ezekiel’s mother in the Night of the Scorpion emphasises the severity of the scorpion bite and how drastic the measures were to counter-act the poison.
Thirdly, the structure of the lines within both poems is similar as they both use run on lines, this technique is used for different reasons as the events are different in each poem. Enjamberment (run on lines) is used within each poem to depict something that is on going and none stop; in blessing it is symbolic of the running water from the burst pipe whereas in the Night of the Scorpion it represents how frantic the village people were when the scorpion struck. Another difference is, in the Night of the Scorpion the enjamberment is used throughout the whole of the poem and there are no separate stanzas apart from that at the end which shows the event is also always unfolding in the whole poem, on the other hand Dharker uses short sentence lines in the first stanza to show the lack of water to contrast with the run on lines which indicate the water to be flowing and plentiful. Also the fact that there is a separated stanza at the end of blessing could be indicative that the town could return back to the drought ridden place it was before the event occurred. This sudden move onto a new stanza could mean that no sooner has the land been blessed with water the ‘liquid sun’ could soon soak up that water.
Similarly, Alliteration is a method used by both poets in their attempt to describe an event. In the Night of the Scorpion the element of religion is highlighted within ‘poison purify’ and in Blessing ‘small splash’ is used to underline the fact that water is scarce in that particular town. Ezekiel displays his religious beliefs about how to deal with such an event as he suggests that the scorpion bite will purify his mothers’ soul and in turn make her a better person, this shows that he thinks that good can come out of even such a distressing event as the one described in the Night of the Scorpion. Dharker emphasises the people’s thankfulness for water in his use of alliteration; even the smallest amount of water is vital to these thirsty people so such an event like a burst water pipe would be like a blessing to them.
The poets also use some contrasting techniques within their poems to describe an event. A prominent dissimilarity is Ezekiel’s frequent use of repetition; ‘may’, ‘more’ and ‘through’ are all words that are repeated within the Night of the Scorpion, however they all convey different aspects of the event. May stresses the religious part of Ezekiel’s beliefs as he recites the supportive chants which are chanted to his mother after she is bitten. ‘More’ is used in an exasperated tone to express his concern that the village people were invasive and overbearing throughout the event and finally ‘through’ is repeated to accentuate his mothers’ pain endured throughout and courage shown by her, signifying that in his opinion she is a very strong woman even in times of desperation.
On the other hand, Dharker uses metaphors on more than one occasion within Blessing. Cleverly Dharker has used ‘Blessing,’ the title of the poem as a central metaphor itself and from that he uses several other religious connotations in the form of metaphor to lay emphasis on the importance of the bursting water pipe. There appears to be a ‘rush of fortune’ followed by a ‘congregation’ of people, this theme of religion used to describe the effects of the event imply that Dharker sees water as a blessing itself, like life. The fact that the pipe burst could be seen as a blessing from a godly figure giving life to the dry, thirsty people of the town in question.
In conclusion, many techniques used are similar in the poems but obviously the poets have used them for very different reasons. Without these devices the event described would lose meaning and significance, metaphors, personification and the like must be used in order to engage an audience into empathising with the characters within the poems.