Carol Rumens creates a memorable poem by comparing the differences between cultures, traditions, religions, etc. It makes people realise that the world us we know it is not the same in all countries and continents.
The poem explores the reality of “Morocco”, but it is just an example of how people live in lots of countries similar to this one. But in this case Rumens emphasises on how children work in their everyday duty: carpet weaving. They do the job dedicatedly.
The last line of the opening stanza: “Their assorted heights would make a melodious chime” compares children to bells, all of the different, making reference to the different ages of the children. It also gives an idea of something totally different to occidental life.
“The children are hard at work” while in other countries children go to school, but for Morocco’s kids there are not days of school, there are “school of days”… this means they learn in their day by day life. Carpet weavers make their fantasy world through the pattern that suddenly “looms” in their work.
As we see it from the outside this world seems to be unfair, with social injustice and abusing child labour, however for them is not as awful as it seems to be for us; it is their life and many of them are not concerned that there is another type of life where children do not work and go to school. As said before children’s dreams are “painted” in the carpets, which then will travel in the “merchant’s truck” carrying in it that dreams. This is a contrasting idea because the kids will not ever travel.
Comparisons between the two worlds are settled by metaphors and similes like: “they watch their flickering knots like television”; this shows how fast they work as the image changes, like a movement, as television, which is totally ironic, because they do not have television. Alliterations on the poem make the reading easier. Structure in this poem is not complex, it consist of four stanzas of three lines each. This rigidity on the structure is similar to the rigidity with which children work. There is no rhyme scheme
To conclude, it is right to say that Rumens succeeded in comparing different religions, cultures and lifestyles. Because describes perfectly well the children’s duty and how their life is totally different from occidental kids’ ones. “The children are hard at work in the school of days”