Thursday, 22 October 2009

This Room

The first stanza of Imtiaz Dharker's poem 'This Room' creates an impression of seeking freedom, where her room is 'breaking out' of its confines and seeking 'space, light, empty air'. Change is afoot, a broadening of the horizon; an out-of-the-ordinary event seems to be taking place.

Dharker personifies the bed at the beginning of the second stanza as 'lifting out of its nightmares'. All negativity is being left behind, as chairs move out of their usual 'dark corners'. Heights are aimed for: alliteration and metaphor are used to create an image as the chairs 'crash through clouds'.

A positive tone is set at the beginning of the third stanza with the lines “This is the time and place / to be alive'. Line twelve uses the metaphor 'the daily furniture of our daily lives / stirs' to express the idea of breaking out of one's routine 'when the improbable arrives'. A special event takes place but is not identified in the poem. Lines fourteen to fifteen introduce a description of the sounds and movements of kitchen utensils that 'bang together / in celebration, clang' and eventually 'fly' past the fan. They seem to be following the chairs skyward. The garlic, onions and spices are personified as a 'crowd' in this kitchen where all the components seem to be joining in some sort of celebration. 'No one is looking for the door' in line eighteen, the end of the third stanza, could be confusing: the poem appears to be about reaching beyond the confines of our ordinary everyday lives. But of course 'No one is looking for the door' need not be taken literally, as it can mean that no one wants to leave this place because there is something to celebrate here.

The first person is not used until the fourth stanza: 'I'm wondering where / I've left my feet'. The atmosphere is one of 'excitement', expressed by the fact that the narrator is apparently confused as to where her body physically is. Dharker uses enjambment to connect the fourth stanza to the fifth, which consists of one solitary line that describes how the narrator's hands are 'outside, clapping', emphasising once more the idea of celebration.

This is no straightforward poem, but rather an extended metaphor to describe an occasion when daily routine can be broken away from, left behind. The structure is irregular, with the third stanza being considerably longer than the other four, and the final one being just one line that attracts attention to the idea of being 'outside, clapping' – celebrating escape from the mundane, perhaps. There is an original use of imagery here that makes the poem a fascinating expression of an idea.

No comments:

Post a Comment