The Art Room

By: Shara McCallum

About the author

Shara McCallum was born in Jamaica, her father being African Jamaican decent; while her mother being Venezuelan. Her family moved over to the United States when she was at the age of 9. She later on got a BA in University of Maimi, a MFA in the University of Maryland, and a PhD at Binghamton University.

The Art Room

Because we did not have threads

of turquoise, silver, and gold,

we could not sew a sun nor sky.

And our hands became balls of fire.

And our arms spread open like wings.

Because we had no chalk or pastels,

no toad, forest, or morning-grass slats

of paper, we had no colour

for creatures. So we squatted

and sprang, squatted and sprang.

Four young girls, plaits heavy

on our backs, our feet were beating

drums, drawing rhythms from the floor;

our mouths became woodwinds;

our tongues touched teeth and were reeds.

Interpretation of the poem

The interpretation of the poem is of how people without wealth, power, and education can not have the same freedom. It as well brings up how the decisions that we make in the world will reflect the future, how we affect our environment, and how it will affect the future generations. But lastly it speaks how we all can make the changes all with our own voices.

Theme of the poem

The theme of the poem surrounds on how because we have no resources we can not create anything; and because of that we lose creativity. In the next stanza it speaks of how because we have had no resources and no environment anymore, we begin to looks for life. From which goes to the last stanza where it speaks of how all this can change if we change. And we step up with our voices and spoke freely.


Shara McCallum. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from
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