Is it a place where you feel comfortable and
Or is it a place where you feel trapped and
A Room at Home
Is it a place where you feel comfortable and secure?
Or is it a place where you feel trapped and confined?
Do you ever feel the need to re-organise it, your life or the universe?
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• Born in Pakistan in 1954
• Grew up in Glasgow but now lives in India
Much of her writing moves from one culture to
another, and the way in which people can feel
included or excluded by culture and religion.
She feels that there is a benefit in being
someone who can opt in and out of several
Unlike many who are glad to be enclosed in the
familiar, Imtiaz Dharker enjoys the freedom of
I enjoy the benefits
of being an outcast
in most societies I
I don’t want to have to
define myself in terms
of location or religion
In a world that seems to be splitting itself
into narrower national and religious groups,
sects, castes, subcastes, we can go on
excluding others until we come down to a
minority of one.
How does the first
stanza make you
feel that the room is
full of destructive
How does the poet continue
to present the room as
something involving chaos?
Does the poem seem to be about the
unpleasant effects of disruption and
chaos, or does it seem to show
disruption and chaos as positive
How is the poem developed through its
stanza structure? In your book, draw a
chart like the one below and write a
brief description of what the feelings
are in each of them.
My hands are outside, clapping.
What purpose do
you think the
writer has in
ending the poem
with a single line?
How does the writer use
personification in the poem?
Which phrase in stanza 1 suggests a
quest for something other than
enclosure and darkness?
What, in stanza 2, makes being in
the room unpleasant?
How could ‘rising up to crash through clouds’ (9)
suggest something positive?
How does Imtiaz Dharker connect the
imagined events in an imagined room with
Imagined event Real life
Which word suggests that
this energetic, chaotic
activity is something that
involves joy and gladness?
Does the word ‘clapping’ (22)
•calling for attention
A room is an enclosure, yet the
poet imagines a room trying to
break free of its own confines.
Could this be a
metaphor for us
the confines of
The poet suggests that the ‘daily
furniture of our lives’(12) needs to be
What do you think she means
Is the ‘daily furniture’ of your life something you
appreciate or is it something you find dull and
‘Celebration’ (15) and ‘excitement’ (19)
are responses to the imagined
upheaval of the contents of the room.
Why do you think the poet suggests that
upheaval is exciting and should be
The ending of the poem suggests that part of
the poet is puzzled, another part of her is slow
to respond, but another part is ahead of these
How are these differences within
Organise yourselves into pairs or small groups.
• Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of
living in a community which shares a single
• Be prepared to report back with an
argument either in favour of, or against, living
in a multi-cultural community.
You should include comments on
such issues as:
• family values