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"Home "By Warsan Shire

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The poem “Home “by Warsan Shire focuses on the importance of home and demonstrates how the connotation of home is experienced by refugees. The poem urges the west host countries to show modest receiving attitude to welcome the refugees and understand their suffering and pain. The speaker uses powerful imagery and metaphor to evoke the empathy for refuges, who are forcefully displaced from their homes. The poem capture the chaos of refugees. The second stanza of the poem reveals the image no one is safe anywhere including the place where everyone is running towards.

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“…Neighbours running faster than you / breath bloody in their throats” (Shire, 5-6). Everyone is searching for asylum to save their lives, no one care about others. Everyone is running for their survival. Everyone wants to be safe, happy and feel comfortable there. Therefore they are searching for a place to call home. Home is not only a place where people live it is a land that is peaceful and safe. In 2nd stanza line 3 shows that when circumstances change it changes the whole scenario.

“…boy you went school with / who kissed you … behind the old tin factory / is holding a gun bigger than his body” (Shire 7-9). Friends become enemies and a boyfriend can become killer. It is pain full to see our beloved ones experiencing adverse condition. When the evoked people transit to new borders to seek for safe place or asylum the hosting countries do not show their positive behaviour for the refugees.

Another image created through metaphor is the personification of the truck as a death place. “No one spend days and nights in the stomach of a truck” (Shire, 29). This reveals that travelling is not a pleasurable activity or vocation for them, however it is a UN desirable event occurring as a result of un conducive living environment. They face problems and experience lack of food which is not their choice, and at one point speaker also says she was raped during journey.

Stanza six of the poem shows the use of vulgar language. It elaborates the racism attitude of some of the receiving countries which uses bad words like black refugees, dirty immigrants, asylum seekers and suckers to expose the attitude of hosting of the metaphor uses in the poem when referring to refuges for example, “A limb torn off” (Shire, 63) creates empathy for the refugees.

I believe that Warsan Shire as women understands deeply the implication of driven out of one’s home. She therefore feel a lot of empathy for those asylum seekers. In addition she reveals that there is no replacement for home and this is natural it can’t be made or taken away. The speaker insinuates that you can run when things get wrong but this will be a part of your memory forever. Do not give up, but believe circumstances will get better.

The social function of this poem is that she send a strong message to refugees making them know that they are not alone, by giving them a voice which needs to be heard. There is someone who thinks about them and who can bring effort to raise awareness about their problems in popular culture because of the ongoing crises in the Middle East. She also alerts the responsible authorities to notice, accept, and have some action and responsibility the welfare of refugees.

The whole poem has very powerful message and the selection of the words and uses of literary devices are very emotional and appealing. This line is very informative because she convey the reason of leaving home: “…home is a sweaty voice in your ear / saying- / leave / run away from me now / I don’t know what I’ve become / but I know that anywhere / is safer than here” (Shire, 89-95).

Home is a symbol of life and safe place of living not only for human beings as well as for animals. When home says leave me, find a safer place, save your lives, run away don’t know what I am going to be. That means no one can predict what is next. What’s going on in future? Home can be a death place for the owners. It reflect the total opposite picture of the home.

From first word to end line the tone of the poem is anger and sadness as well as creating awareness for host countries to welcome refugees. “…no one put their children in a boat / unless the water is safer than the land” (Shire, 24-25) and “only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet” (Shire, 20).

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It is not new that some parts of the world experience certain tragedy and disaster that could be man-made or natural. The history is full of bad examples towards refugees. Refugees always struggle for their survival. This poem try to get the attention of the world. It also show us the awful face of those countries who do not give asylum seekers an opportunity to become a part of their society.

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