Poetry and Quote Technique Stanza Essay

Submitted By tudltudl
Words: 5251
Pages: 22

Immigrant Chronicle – Peter Skrzynecki
Feliks Skrzynecki
This poem is a tribute to the dignity and stoicism in the face of loss and hardship to the poet’s father Feliks whose journey from Europe to Australia, from one culture to another, echoes through the poem and it ’s clear that the impact of the journey is as strong for the son as for the father. This poem highlights that the hardest thing about physical migration is whether to keep or let go of the memories as migration allows the person to destabilise both physically and mentally. The poet deals with the emotional consequences of the physical journey.

Title: Feliks Skrzynecki
Tells us that this poem is about how a person can affect your sense of belonging
‘My gentle father’
Possessive noun “my”
“Gentle” sets the tone of the poem and reveals the poet’s perspective of his father as one of love and admiration
Peter respects and honours Feliks with this kind salutation
‘Kept pace only with the Joneses/Of his own mind’s making’

Suggests that Feliks is his own man and only wants to do ordinary things well
This allusion to a famous cliché sees Feliks reject the ambitions for bigger, better things as others see the mark of success and belonging – Feliks has all he needs, his contentment is replete and he has achieved a sense of belonging. This sense of gratitude and only desiring the simple pleasures of life is reflected in the second reference.
‘Of his own mind’s making’
Alliteration – to show how the poet’s father was his own man, not driven by pressures enforced by others
‘Loved his garden like an only child’

Uses imagery to emphasise the place of belonging for Feliks
Similie ‘like an only child’ shows the extent of love and devotion to the garden
Twin use of hyperbole in ‘Spent years walking its perimeter’ and ‘He swept its paths/Ten times around the world’ expresses Feliks’ devotion to his garden, to a place where he belongs
‘Hands darkened/From cement, fingers with cracks’

Narrows the focus from the man in his garden to the darkened cracked hands
Powerful images of hard, physical labour
‘Like the sods he broke… From the soil he turned’
Skrzynecki paints a picture of a man who is not afraid to work and who has come to a place, his own place, where he is content (He respects his father because through all the hardships, he still belongs)
‘Ten times around the world’
Hyperbole – creates a sense of belonging in this setting, as he chooses to stay within its boundaries
Gives the readers a sense of the father’s dedication to his self-imposed task
‘Hands darkened/From cement, fingers with cracks’
Hard labour (but it is a labour of love – contrasted with “forced labour in Germany”  he is working hard in this setting because he has a sense of belonging with it
Manual images help individualise him
‘Why his arms didn’t fall off’
From Peter’s (a kid) perspective, he has superhuman strength
‘His Polish friends/Always shook hands too violently… Horses they bred’
Feliks friends are seen as further sources of acceptance & belonging for Feliks. They share memories reminiscing about fertile farms and animals in their native Poland. The positive connotations of the verbs suggest the immigrants shared nostalgia springing from their common experiences
‘I never got used to’
Peter finds their speech and actions alienating
‘Always shook hands too violently’
Negative connotations heighten the sense of Peter’s discomfort in this situation
‘Did not dull the softness of his blue eyes’
His father is a survivor whose resilience to suffering has enabled his ‘softness’ not to be hardened or dulled by experience.
This imagery juxtaposes the father’s resilience and inner strength with his ‘gentle’ qualities
‘I never once heard/Him complain’
Courage and endurance are key traits in his father’s personality. These lines emphasise his fortitude
Sense of awe and envy for the man whom he ‘never once hear/Him complain’ and for whom nothing,