The Emigree, Carol Rumens
Themes and Ideas:
The Power of Memory – Even though the writer left her country when she was a child, she remembers vividly the details of the place, as portrayed through light imagery and present tense. The way she describes it, her city remains as it was in her childhood even though it is no longer the same. Memory becomes a source of strength in the 3rd verse, the pronoun changes from ‘that city’ to ‘my city’ to show more personal feelings.
Displacement and Loss – The speaker has been displaced from her home country. ‘I have no passport’ suggests that she hasn’t adopted a new nationality. The city could be metaphor for faith, religion or love.
Opposition – Full of contrasts and oppositions. The ‘then’ versus ‘now’ of the memory, full of threats and violence.