Carol Rumens's Poetry
Support for studying English GCSE and A Level
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.