Monday, 12 August 2013

Analysis on Carol Rumens' 'Carpet-Weavers, Morocco'

     British poet, Carol Rumens, was born in London, England. Most of her poetry is inspired by places she has visited. The satirical poem ‘Carpet-weavers, Morocco’ recollects her experiences in Morocco. In Morocco – a poor third-world country – children of school-going age are sent to cottage industries. Rumens talks about the cruelty of child labour and the harsh conditions children have to bear. Children are not even aware of the injustice they are going through. Instead of being sent to school, they are sent to work in industries.
     Walking down the streets of Morocco, Rumens sees children of different Ages and heights, weaving carpets. During this process, they weave a picture of a garden of Paradise. Their only source of entertainment is watching flickering knots of thread flying into the air while weaving carpets.
     The children are performing an activity which will be cherished forever. In the process, they are learning the hardships of life and invading time. ‘School of days’ sadly evokes school days. The children are meant to be at school. The unsightly facet of child labour is that children are denied their due rights and compelled to work in factories to earn livelihood.
    Most children their age enjoy watching television; whereas these children are fabricating a world of their dreams and hopes which is denied. They can only access the world of desires through their imagination, which serves s a key to their lost hopes. The patterns they weave on the carpet are their only source of entertainment.
     The carpets will be sent to mosques in Islamic nations on which Muslims will prostrate. The children weave the ‘garden of Islam’ – a satirical image implying that many people are entering the web of Islam; hence, more children would be forced into child labour to make more carpets for worshippers. The spread of Islam would demand more carpets which would lead to a proportional increase in child labour as well. Children learn to think that labour of today might bear fruits tomorrow.
     The poem was written to make the world realize and take notice of the predicament of third-world countries – the miserable plight of child labour. It infuses in our minds and spirits that steps should be taken to stop child labour, to allow children across the globe the bliss of education, liberty, luxury and their due rights.  


  1. I was looking for poetic inspiration about Morocco, and stumbled on this blog. While I commend the blog writer for her interest in the poem, I was taken aback by some of the thoughts expressed. Morocco is not a "poor third world country" as stated in the first paragraph. It is one of Africa's most stable, with a solid, growing economy. Indeed, plenty of poor people live there, toiling hard for little wage.... just like in America. It is wholly untrue that "most children their age enjoy watching television..." Actually, most children in the world do not have access to televisions. The statement, "The spread of Islam would demand more carpets which would lead to proportional increase in child labour..." reflects ignorance and narrow-mindedness. How does the spread of western materialism affect child labour? While child labour could be considered a "miserable plight," simply advocating that children never work again is short-sighted and irresponsible. The issue is far more complex than having kids stay home and enjoy "the bliss of education, liberty and luxury..." In many regions where children toil, there is no opportunity for education, liberty and luxury. If the children simply stayed home, the entire family would starve. Which is worse for the child - working or starving? I would caution the blogger to think more broadly about conditions, values and circumstances around the globe, before commenting on poetry that portrays a complex and foreign situation.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Debbie. I appreciate you for going through this analysis, conveying your thoughts and presenting the bigger picture. I may have generalized some of my statements; however, I will take what you said into consideration and rectify my outlook in accordance with the real picture. Thank you for expressing your opinion. It will allow me to see things differently and be conscientious when deliberating over the root causes of humanitarian issues. Have a good day! :)

  2. Hello, I highly agree with Debbie. when I read your analysis I noticed the same things. Specially, that you speak from your standing point which is not necessarily how the world (in general- just as your are generalizing) is. Anyway I believe you were not at all ill intentioned. And after reading Debbie's comment your response was very good. Keep on your hard work!