I remember rooms that have had their part
In the steady slowing down of the heart.
The room in Paris, the room at Geneva,
The little damp room with the seaweed smell,
And that ceaseless maddening sound of the tide—
Rooms where for good or for ill—things died.
But there is the room where we (two) lie dead,
Though every morning we seem to wake and might just as well seem to sleep again
As we shall somewhere in the other quieter, dustier bed
Out there in the sun—in the rain.
Answer the following questions
1. Read about the writer.
Make notes about her life and about what may have influenced her writings. Why is it said that the life of the writer was a tragedy?
2. Read the poem: how are “rooms” described?
3. “The poem offers us a poignant account of loss as qualified through the depiction of abandoned rooms. Rooms are the physical means to which relationships are developed and consecrated. It entails intimacy and love, as well as abandon and death. It shelters individuals, as well as couples, from the harshness of the natural elements outside, providing them with a private and cosy space. There is also a sense of shifting dependence as the couples travel from room to room, leaving their trails behind and simultaneously having images of the abandoned rooms imprinted upon their memories.”
Account for this with quotation from the poem
4. The poem begins “I remember”. What does this tell you about the voice? And the tone?
5. What is the theme in your opinion? What is the tone?
This video will help you understand the poem a bit more!!
Read the following poem and compare and contrast it to “Rooms” in terms of style, language and form, paying special attention to their portrayal of abandoned rooms.
Home is so Sad
by Philip Larkin
Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft
And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was:
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.
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