This Room

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					This Room

      Imtiaz Dharker
              This Room

 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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Imtiaz Dharker
     • 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.
This Room
 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.

Stanza          Feelings



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
real life?
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
 escaping from
 the confines of
   our familiar
                                   how it
                                  could be
                                   such a
The poet suggests that the ‘daily
furniture of our lives’(12) needs to be

         What do you think she means
         by this?

   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
        herself presented?
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:

                 • religion

                 • tradition

                • food

                • music

               • family values

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