Carol Rumens's Poetry
Support for studying English GCSE and A Level
Carol Rumens - Biography
Carol Rumens was born (Forest Hill, London, England) on 10 December 1944. She is an English author, playwright and poet.
Rumens won a scholarship to a grammar school and subsequently studied Philosophy at London University, but did not complete her degree. In 2002, she received a Postgraduate Diploma in Writing for the Stage from City College Manchester.
Rumens lived for several years in Belfast, before moving to South Wales (Bangor). She has also visited several parts of Russia and Eastern Europe.
She has taught at several universities: University of Kent at Canterbury (1983–85), Queen's University Belfast (1991–93 and 1995–98), University College Cork (1994), University of Stockholm (1999), and University of Hull as Professor of Creative Writing. Rumens has also taught at the University of Wales, Bangor as a visiting professor.
Rumens has found inspiration for her writing in foreign customs, history, cultures and languages. Her work has also been inspired by Philip Larkin’s.
Carol Rumens - 'The Emigrée' - Annotation
Annotation prompts for Carol Rumens’ ‘The Emigrée’.
‘The Emigrée’ means an emigrant: especially someone who flees from his / her native land because of political conditions. Émigrée is the feminine form and could suggest the persona is a woman. The displaced persona reflects on his or her city of birth. There are no obvious autobiographical connections. Carol Rumens (born 10.12.1944, London). In an interview she stated: “I did not travel much when I was younger. My background is lower middle class. My family didn’t even have a car!” She has since travelled to places such as Prague / Russia, which could have been influential.
What is the universal significance of this poem? Could it apply to anyone who has left their place of birth? Or anyone who cherishes a memory of when they were young? Is it about lost childhood? Explore the conflicting themes of light / darkness in the poem and justify which you think prevails. Study the semantic field of violence and phrases which appear ambiguous.
The annotation prompts are a supportive tool, intended to encourage further analysis and interpretation.