Hopp til innhold


Seats of Power by Imtiaz Dharker

Learning about politics is often an investigation into how people gain and use political power. Use this poem as a starting point for a discussion about democracy and citizenship.
Politiker og demonstranter balanserer på hver sin side av en vippestang. Illustrasjon.
Åpne bilde i et nytt vindu

Seats of Power

There is a great shuffling
in the corridors of power,
a flurry of whispering,
a small shower of niceties.
Greetings are exchanged,
hands folded, faces prepared
to give and to receive
the required formalities.
Among such banalities
things go sour.

The old man sits immobile,
only raises an eyebrow
now and then, to flick
a lizard eye around the room.

Speeches are read.
A few points made.
Somewhere else in the city
a blade finds flesh.

Here, in this quiet, civil room
permission has been given
for the carnage to begin.

Copyright © Imtiaz Dharker Postcards from God.
Published by Bloodaxe Books, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1997.

Discussion questions:

  1. What kind of institutions can be described as "Seats of Power"? Give some specific examples.
  2. Look at the description of the old man in the second stanza. Do you think he is powerful? Explain your answer with examples from the text.
  3. There is a contrast between the "quiet, civil room" and the events going on outside in the city. What is the connection between the two?
  4. Is this a portrayal of democracy?
  5. What is the relationship between democracy and citizenship?

Relatert innhold

Begrenset brukSkrevet av Imtiaz Dharker. Rettighetshaver: Bloodaxe Books
Sist faglig oppdatert 06.05.2020


Political systems, Democracy & Citizenship