Study Guide

A Blessing Calling Card

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Calling Card

Loneliness and Love

James Wright is widely admired for his brilliant use of free verse. Early in his career, he relied on conventional rhyme schemes and metrical systems, but when he switched to free verse, he really came into his own as a poet.

Yet the essence of a great Wright poem lies as much in its themes as its style. It is no coincidence that the words "loneliness" and "love" both appear in "A Blessing," for his calling card arguably lies in the conjunction of these two themes. In Wright's poems, nature often offers the antidote to loneliness, momentarily healing the suffering caused by isolation and offering a glimpse of love. For example, check out his Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio or Northern Pike (And for more on these themes, see the discussion in the "Themes" section.)

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