24 February 2018
Home isn’t a place; it’s a feeling.
What is home? Home is where your day begins and ends, it is a tiny toothbrush in the bathroom, home means sanctuary. Home is safety, security and unity within a family. Yet home is something being taken away from people and families. Warsan Shire, poet and activist wrote her experience and reaction to having to leave home. The poem is called “No One Leaves Home Unless Home Is The Mouth Of A Shark”. The rhyme can truly touch a person’s heart and give you many emotions. The poem is about a girl who feels like nothing will be able to replace the original feeling of home after it was taken away. The writer’s attitude of this poem contains her emotions with her devastation of having to leave the roof over her head. The experience the author went through was a really close thing in her heart and motivated her to write about it. In the poem I was able to sense that her experience really changed in the way she sees “life” and how it has refined her. Warsan Shire is trying to communicate that a person can feel so much pain when your whole life changes from one day to another. The theme is someone’s experience with refugees. I also believe that the theme is universal, it touches the heart on the human experience, regardless of race or language. Warsan Shire described many powerful emotions in the writing. The poem will leave the reader feeling guilty, angry, sad, joy, and disgust.
People may have slightly different understandings of what a poem is about based on their experiences in life. No matter how people respond to the poem it will leave them feeling some sort of emotion. This poem is very special because it is happening all over the world and people are really going through this. One in one-hundred people worldwide are taken away from their homes and yet we don’t really acknowledge it. The poem to me was a person’s story of what is really happening around the world and reality.
In my opinion, the most important part in the poem that proves what the poem is about is when the Warsan says “No one leaves home unless home chases you.” (Shire) Even though this is such a short sentence it has such strong words. The poem made me feel pity wondering why a person would even say that. No one is going to leave their home unless home is chasing you away. Why would home chase you? Home is supposed to be comfort. Another similar sentence she said in the poem is “You only leave home when home won’t let you stay.” (Shire) I was able to feel her agony when I read that.
I felt that her repetitive and negativity use in the poem made it stronger. When she says “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark” to me she compares the dangers that are happening in her home now to the danger of the mouth of a shark and what damage it can do. It was a peaceful home once and now it has become a brutal one. It left me feeling guilt, hope, graceful, and rage.
Warsan Shire expressed in her poem “Fire under feet hot blood in your belly it’s not something you ever thought of doing until the blade burnt threats into your neck”. (Shire) I felt a little bit disgusted and wonder why would someone say such horrible descriptive things. “Home” has descriptive words that makes it very easy to close your eyes and imagine the horrifying things the writer is saying. Another descriptive quote she wrote is “Your neighbors running faster than you breath bloody in their throats, the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory is holding a gun bigger than his body.” (Shire) I was able picture everything Warsan was describing. She used tone and imagery to convey her attitude and her message in the poem. To me Warsan used imagery to get the reader’s involved in the situation so we can try to put ourselves in their shoes, how would we react. When a person is forced to leave home their whole life changes and you just have to learn to adjust. This sentence can also leave a person feeling pity. We feel sorrow and compassion because of the suffering and misfortunes of others. Some may realize that they don’t have it as bad as others. It gives you a lesson that you need to be grateful for whatever you have.
This poem to me is very powerful and compelling. Warsan Shire the author of “No One Leaves Home Unless Home Is The Mouth Of A Shark” spoke out in an interview and said “I wrote the poem for them, for my family and for anyone who has experienced or lived around grief and trauma in that way.” In the interview she also stated “No one leaves home if the hurt that will come is greater than the hurt that they will leave behind” I also believe she wrote this poem to show people that they should be happy with what they have because it could be worse. This poem can go in manys and and many emotions. As a reader I was able to feel her agony about the situation but at the same time makes me be thankful for the life I have. “No One Leaves Home Unless Home Is The Mouth Of A Shark” is popular around the world. People are presenting signs at rallies. Also African asylum seekers in Jerusalem protested a proposed deportation policy with signs quoting the poem. For example people write on signs saying “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”
The writers thoughts and theme of this poem is so much powerful when person can truly relate to it. Once in our lives we have has something taken away. Put yourself in a situation of having to leave your home and have to just start brand new with a new life. We don’t realize it because everyone is stuck in their own little lives but, people are constantly being pulled away from a place they call their precious home. The writer was able to put her pain on paper and was able to describe her feelings. This poem had such an impact for me and I was able to relate because I have had my home get taken away. In her poem she expressed the fact that many cases people who leave their home most likely are left with no choice and are forced to escape to a safer place. This poem allows us to be heart felt about the dangerous things that take place in many foreign countries and to stress the urgency of her reality.