‘Rooms’ is a stunning poem about the way in which domestic spaces, like the homes in which we live, hold important memories and experiences for us over the years.
This post includes a breakdown of the stanzas, an insight into the speaker + voice of the poem, and an exploration of the themes and deeper meanings. It’s is only a quick overview to help you get to grips with the poem; you can access a complete in-depth analysis of the poem, plus tasks, exercises and essay questions via the links below.
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- Geneva – a large city in Switzerland, on a lake
- Ceaseless – without stopping
- Maddening – driving someone to madness
I remember rooms that have contributed to the steady slowing of the heart (either room that has caused the speaker’s heart to be less emotional, or rooms that she has lived in which caused her heartache). There’s the room I lived in Paris, and the one in Geneva, the little damp room that smelled of seaweed with that never-ending sound of the tide that drove me insane – rooms where things died – whether it was a good or bad thing. But there is the room where the two of us lie dead, even though every morning at the moment we seem to wake up and then sleep again, as we will sleep eternally one day, somewhere in the quieter, dustier bed (the grave) out there in the sun – in the rain.
The speaker takes on a nostalgic tone as she remembers different rooms that have had a significant impact upon her during her life – if we imagine Mew herself to be the speaker, then these may refer to rooms that she visited for a brief time, such as those in ‘Paris’ and ‘Geneva’, or ones that she lived in for a long time – perhaps those of her family home in Bloomsbury, or those where she had to later relocate after her family home was repossessed due to poverty.
Thanks for reading! If you’re studying this particular poem, you can buy our detailed study guide here.
- Story + Summary
- Speaker + Voice
- Language Feature Analysis
- Form and Structure Analysis
- Attitudes + Messages
- Themes + Deeper Ideas
- Key Quotations
- Extra tasks to complete by yourself