Dharker was born in Pakistan, raised in Glasgow and now lives in Britain and India
This poem is from her 2006 collection, 'The terrorist at My Table', which questions how well we know the people around us
THE STORY OF THE POEM
The poem does not have a straight forward interpretation
Stanzas 1, 2 & 3 - the importance of paper as a means of recording history
Stanzas 4, 5 & 6 -the paradox that paper is fragile, yet still controls our lives
Stanzas 7, 8, 9 & the last line - the creation of things, particularly human life. Life is more complex and precious compared to other things that we create. It is also temporary but forms a part of an ongoing story
KEY THEMES IN THE POEM
Power of Humans
Power of Nature
There isn't a prominent voice in the poem because the focus is on humanity rather than a specific person or speaker.
There is no regular rhythm or rhyme, and the enjambment across the lines gives the poem freedom and openness reflecting the writer's desire for freedom and clarity.