Friday 18th March 2016 The Emigre By Carol

Friday 18th March 2016 The Emigre By Carol Rumens CONTEXT Carol Rumens was born in London. She now teaches at The University of Wales. The poem was written in 1993. We had the Gulf War in 1990-1991, Civil war in Tajikstan for 5 years, Bosnian war 1992-1995 and many more.

In 1993, 18.2 million men, women, and children across the world had left their homelands to escape conflict and war. WHATS IN A NAME? migre THE POEM As we read, on your post-it note write down what the relationship between the speaker and the city is like.

The Emigre (1993) Carol Rumens There once was a country I left it as a child but my memory of it is sunlight-clear for it seems I never saw it in that November which, I am told, comes to the mildest city. The worst news I receive of it cannot break my original view, the bright, filled paperweight. It may be at war, it may be sick with tyrants, but I am branded by an impression of sunlight. The white streets of that city, the graceful slopes glow even clearer as time rolls its tanks and the frontiers rise between us, close like waves. That childs vocabulary I carried here like a hollow doll, opens and spills a grammar.

Soon I shall have every coloured molecule of it. It may by now be a lie, banned by the state but I cant get it off my tongue. It tastes of sunlight. I have no passport, theres no way back at all but my city comes to me in its own white plane. It lies down in front of me, docile as paper; I comb its hair and love its shining eyes. My city takes me dancing through the city of walls. They accuse me of absence, they circle me. They accuse me of being dark in their free city. My city hides behind me. They mutter death, and my shadow falls as evidence of sunlight.

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