The border builder

In our Literature class we analyse the poem “The Border Builder” by Carol Rumens and made some questions of our booklet. I worked with Bautista Olaizola and Catalina Grosso.

  1. The themes of the poem are racism, segregation, clash of culture, immigration problems and displace. Other stories related to this poem are “The Lemon Orchard” and “A horse and two goats”.
  2. There is a builder doing his job and suddenly starts  criticising and questioning the man who is building. The second man suspect that he doesn’t have the rights to be there so he checked his passports and color for example.
  3. The poem has only one stanza and 22 lines and there is no rhyme in the poem that can call our attention.
  4. The tone of the poem is aggressive and starts in a proud way. Also, the protagonist feels intimidated while the other person ask for his personal things.
  5. Some keywords “which side”, “border”, “no colour”, “began building again” and “blood”
  6. main literary devices are alliterations such as “what would we ne without border”. Another is rhetorical questions such as “birth certificate?” “passport?”
  7. Imageries “bloody hand”, “borders likes blood”



  1. How can we relate this poem with racism and discrimination?
  2. Why the other person starts to ask the builder for his personal things?
  3. What effects produce in the reader the repetition of “which side?”
  4. Why the other person says “This is a border”?
  5. What separation is doing the narrator when says “Which colour are you?”
  6. What would we be without borders?
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