However it’s the emotional and physical impacts the traveller endures that gives them perceptions of the world around them. Through a variety of techniques the poems “crossing the red sea”, and “migrant hostel” composed by Peter Skrzynecki explore the physical and emotional impacts immigrants undertake in their journey from war-torn Europe to Australia.
In “crossing the Red sea” European migrants embark on a journey to escape their homeland of war-torn
Europe. “Many slept on deck because of the days heat” /
“shirtless, in shorts, barefooted”- The use of the phrase
“many slept on deck” indicates there is a cumulation of people aboard the voyage. “ Themselves a landscape of milk white flesh” is a metaphor that refers to their experience as though they are suck in a standstill between their past and their future. The seclusion on the boat forces the migrants to contemplate their past, as shown in the metaphors “voices left their caves / silence fell from its shackles”, which explains how the migrants are emotionally opening up about their past and creates a optimistic mood. However their loss of identity like status is highlighted in the metaphor “ patches and shred’s of dialogue”, displaying a pessimistic outlook.
In “migrant hostel” the migrants are still caught in a limbo of uncertainty as they were on the voyage. “No one kept count” is a sense on anonymity that describes their situation as disorganized and chaotic. Their new home is a state of flux with all the assonance of
“comings and goings”, which gives the reader a sense that they are living in a transit camp. “Nationalities sought each other out instinctively” shows the ethnic diversity in the camp, the simile “like a homing pigeon
circling to get its bearings” refers to the imagery of cultural and racial instincts.
Skrzynecki uses high modality language and alliteration in the quote “By memories of hunger and hate” to portray their emotional and physical despair during the war period. They feel “hate” towards the situation they have been put in and the uncertainty whether they are surrounded by “masters or slaves”. In both poems Skrzynecki gives