Some people just can't get enough of the Great Outdoors. But even if you're not a nature buff, you probably enjoy a pleasant stroll on a sunny day. Recent research confirms the therapeutic effects of spending time in nature. But nature isn't all sweetness and light; sometimes it's downright scary (just ask Captain Ahab). For poets, the relationship between humans and nature is a source of endless fascination. James Wright put it this way: "Oh, how I would love to be a chickadee! But I can't be a chickadee. All I can be is what I am […] so I'm a nature poet who writes about human beings in nature." In "A Blessing," Wright's speaker communes with ponies, instead of birds, but the same fascination and mystery emerges.
The great outdoors are really… great. "A Blessing" suggests that spending time in nature can make people happier by expanding their awareness and helping them feel that they are part of something larger than themselves.
On second thought, maybe those outdoors aren't all they're cracked up to be. "A Blessing" suggests that the human quest to find emotional fulfillment in the world of nature is doomed to disappointment; industrial society and our own analytical minds prevent us from fully appreciating the gifts of the natural world.