“Carpet-Weavers, Morocco,” written by Carol Rumens, vividly depicts child labour, poverty, and inequality amongst people today. Rumens uses several literary features to sympathize, but not empathize with the children suffering through child labour.
The “Carpet-weavers,” being children, live in poor countries, and are unpaid. The children, who are referred to in this poem, are compared to the children who have a normal life – those who come from a richer family. The first line itself refers to “another world.” Though the clear meaning of the word is not known at first, we can understand later in the poem that the word suggests a place that other children live in; a better life. The depiction of inequality prevails throughout the poem.
The simile, “They watch their flickering knots like television,” shows inequality in the world. Television is what richer children watch as entertainment. However, the young carpet-weavers consider watching their work like television – for long never-ending hours – as their only form of entertainment. “As the garden of Islam grows,” is one of the most important lines in the poem, and it makes use of a key literary device – irony. Morocco is an Islamic country, and the Islamic religion speaks of equality. In addition, “garden of Islam” is a representation of paradise. Ironically, child labour is present, which is completely against the religion of Islam. Other words showing irony and inequality is ‘merchant’s truck’ and ‘servants,’ where the thoughts are juxtaposed. Also, the word ‘servants’ is placed with ‘mosque,’ which demonstrates the irony of the religion, where there are servants in the mosque itself.
From the poem, it seems that the poet feels that the children have no hope in the future, and the poverty and inequality will still prevail in the future. The last three stanzas are all written in the future tense. Carol Rumens seems to explain to readers the children’s destiny. The last stanza is the climax of the poem. The first line of the last stanza, “The children are hard at work in the school of days.” demonstrates a sense of sarcasm. Another interpretation of the phrase, “school of days” could mean that these “days” are like the days of life in a poverty-stricken village, which is extremely difficult, as compared to a richer “student.” The phrase, “all-that-will-be fly” is another phrase relating to the hopelessness of the children’s future. The line, “From their…all that will be fly” is an extremely unique line in the poem – it is an enjambment. The fact that a period has not been used shows the everlasting and interminable dreams of the children of having a better life, which will never be accomplished. The poet makes good use of punctuation this way, and other literary devices.
The poem, “Carpet-Weavers, Morocco,” makes good use of diction, irony, and other literary features to effectively explain Carol Rumens’ views on carpet-weavers in Morocco. Carol Rumen effectively evokes feelings of sympathy from the reader, and really allows the reader connect to the poem and have strong views towards the issue.