“Ispahan Carpet” by Elizabeth Burge describes the poets visit in Persia as she examines the carpet makers. Although the poem’s title suggests that the poem is centered on Persian carpets, the poet does not wholly concentrates on its beautiful handicrafts. The poet’s attention is especially drawn to the girls making these rugs in this poem .Through various the use of literacy devices, the readers are able to adopt the poet’s feelings and thoughts as she examines the girls at work.
The poem is written in stanzaic form of five stanzas each on one idea. In the first stanza, the poet gives us her first impressions when she say the carpet making “firm” as the descriptions given as visual. As an example, “bare” and “cavernous” is used by the poet to describe the room and using such words Burge makes us understand that they do not live in any luxury. Another instance where first impressions are shown is when she first saw the carpets. The use of strong adjectives, “sensuous jeweled arabesque’’ is used by the poet to convey her feeling of wonder as she see the carpets. The use of “jeweled” is indeed an exaggeration, but is still used by Burge to make her readers understand that these carpets “interwoven pattern” resembles pure beauties, like jewels. Onward, Burges has made the next four stanzas in descending order of number of verses; 8-3-3-2. The idea that the poet may have had behind was to illustrate the hard work behind the carpet making. It may represent the process from start to finish. Furthermore we are given the impression that the carpet making is like a piece of art or “traditional beauty”. This is one of the ideas that the poet wants us to understand.Order now
There are both the feelings of amazement and pity exhibited in this poem as the encounters the girls making the carpets. A tone of disappointment is used by the poet as she introduces the carpet-makers. By writing “Eight-year-old girls sit sparrowed on a plank”, Burge shows her feeling of shock as she did not expect to see young children working as such. The poet sees the job unfit for these children as they are given the impression to be fragile and weak through the use of a simile, “bent like old women”. As such we feel that the girls have overworked and are tired like “old women”. Thus such a negative comparison makes us readers equally feel pity for the weavers. The poet indeed shows that she is worried for these girls. This can be seen in the last stanza, with the metaphor “my swollen hands are gentle in the greenstick shoulder”. Metaphorically, the swollen hand would refer to the poets being powerless as she is unable to help. The readers could perceive this as a symbolic act of kindness. Literally the poet’s hand could be swollen and in pain she tries to help another person who seems to suffer.
The poet’s final verse is strong as it makes us realize the severity of things for these girls. The girl’s call for help is so strong that her “eye” could “speak”. The poet makes this clear that the life of these girls is completely wrong, like “darkness”. Indeed, the poet has not forgotten that the skills of these girls are exceptional. The fourth stanza is quite important as it is directed toward the readers. The importance of carpets is shown through the metaphor “whole horizon” meaning that carpets are used everywhere. But, the “traditional beauties” made by this girls is so unique, such that it is made impossible to destroy. The poet makes use of a rhetorical question “Who can unravel the world’s weaving?”. Even though Burge gives us no detailed description of the “Ispahan Carpet”, we understand that it is something unique to be admired and valued.
To conclude, we see that Burge seems to be against child labour and does this through this poem. In this poem she makes use of numerous techniques, such as structure, imagery, metaphor and tone in such a way to interconnect all of them to make a very pleasing and revealing poem