Presentation on theme: "and Belonging – The Immigrant Chronicles"— Presentation transcript:
1 and Belonging – The Immigrant Chronicles Peter Skrzyneckiand Belonging –The Immigrant Chronicles
2 Contents: Biography Migrant Hostel Fitting In, by Din Tran – related Feliks Skrzynecki10 Mary StreetAnd the Bond Cannot be Broken, Daniel Fudge – relatedSt Patricks CollegeAncestorsPostcardFolk Museum
3 BiographyPeter Skrzynecki (pronounced sher-neski was born 1945, Germany)Polish/Ukrainian backgroundEmigrated to Australia in 1949 with his parents.After a four-week sea journey on the "General Blatchford" the family arrived in Sydney on 11 November.Lived in a migrant camp in Bathurst for two weeks before being moved on to the Parkes Migrant Centre, a former Air Force Training Base. It is this camp, in central-western New South Wales, that the poet regards as his first home in Australia.WWII destructionMigrant ship, the ‘General Blatchford’
4 1951 the family moved to Sydney, to the working-class suburb of Regents Park,where a home had been purchasedat 10 Mary Street.Feliks Skrzynecki worked as a labourerfor the Water Board and Kornelia as adomestic for a number of families in Strathfield. The parents worked hard and had the house paid off in four years.They grew their own vegetables and had a magnificent flower garden.Peter attended St Patrick's College, Strathfield, where he completed his Leaving Certificate in 1963.After an unsuccessful year at Sydney University in 1964, he completed a Primary Teacher Training Course at Sydney Teachers' College inIn 1968 he had recommenced his university studies as an external student and has a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and a Master of Letters.
5 From 1967 to 1987 Peter Skrzynecki taught in various primary public schools in the western suburbs of Sydney, in the inner-west and the south-westWhile at Sydney University, Peter Skrzynecki began writing poetry and was introduced to the work of such modern writers as Dylan Thomas, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, W.B.Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Wilfred Owen and D.H. Lawrence.He had his first poems published professionally in Poetry Magazine in 1967 and again in His work began to appear in the Weekend Australian, the ABC began broadcasting his poems on its "Poet's Tongue" programme and his work was included in the Australian Poetry anthology,Skrzynecki's first books, There, Behind the Lids and Headwaters, were published in 1970 and respectivelyThese two collections, for the most, were concerned with the poet's experiences during the three years he taught in the country. They were reflective or meditative poems that dealt with the natural world, with the countryside, its people, its fauna and flora.
6 In 1975, Immigrant Chronicle is published. Traces of themes from the two earlier books.For the first time the poet writes about his European background, his experiences as a migrant in Australia, the problems associated with being an exile, with his parents' dispossession and the difficulties, such as racism, bigotry and resettlement, encountered by them and other immigrants in trying to assimilate to a new life in a new land.Skrzynecki mainly writes three kinds of poems, all in a similarly distinctive, almost prosaic style:the family poem, in which he often displays a deft ability to portray character through descriptionthe immigrant experience, which ranges between the new and old worlds and often has a documentary qualityand the landscape poem, which is often idyllic, with a poetic persona not that dissimilar to a Wordsworthian boy wandering and meditating in a garden or countryside.Surprisingly, the poems that focus on family and the poems that observe people, primarily, stand out in this book, rather than specific accounts of the immigrant experience, although this theme is rarely absent from his work.
7 Postscript Feliks Skrzynecki died in June, 1994. He was 89. Kornelia (Woloszczuk) died in February, She was 79.The house at 10 Mary Street, Regents Park, was sold later that year.
8 TodayPeter Skrzynecki is that rare thing in Australia: a poet with a substantial readership.Sales of his autobiographical collection Immigrant Chronicle (1975) exceed 20,000 copies according to his website, although many of these would be due to his good fortune at having had this volume included on the HSC list for many years.Peter Skrzynecki is married to Kate and has three children, Judith, Andrew and Anna.
9 As you study Skrzynecki’s poems you should consider the questions: How is the concept of belonging expressed in each poem?What effect does the idea of belonging have on the persons concerned?Is belonging explored in a positive or negative way?From whose perspective is the poem written?From what/whose perspective is it meant to be read?What is the responders’ reaction to the idea of belonging as explored in the poem?Evaluate the techniques used by the composer to convey the concept of belonging.Keep detailed notes for each of the poems in the prescribed text, Immigrant Chronicle.
10 Vocabularymigrant [ˈmaɪgrənt]n1. a person or animal that moves from one region, place, or country to anotherim·mi·grant (m-grnt)n.1. A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another
12 Images of MigrationBathurst Camp - 2Florence Owens Thompson (September 1, 1903 – September 16, 1983), born Florence Leona Christie, was the subject of Dorothea Lange's photo Migrant Mother (1936), an iconic image of the Great Depression.Children’s activities in camp
13 Migrant Hostel Parkes, 1949-51 For over two years We lived like birds of passage— Always sensing a change in the weather: Unaware of the season Whose track we would follow.A barrier at the main gate Sealed off the highway from our doorstep— As it rose and fell like a finger Pointed in reprimand or shame; And daily we passed Underneath or alongside it— Needing its sanction To pass in and out of lives That had only begun Or were dying.No one kept count Of all the comings and goings— Arrivals of newcomers In busloads from the station, Sudden departures from adjoining blocks That left us wondering Who would be coming next. Nationalities sought Each other out instinctively— Like a homing pigeon Circling to get its bearings; Years and name-places Recognised by accents, Partitioned off at night By memories of hunger and hate .Read, discuss for meaning, analyse
14 Analysis of Migrant Hostel Composer: Peter Skrzynecki Source: The Immigrant Chronicles, Parkes, Context: Migrant hostels, like the ones described in this poem, were old army camps with dormitory- style accommodation. Men and women were not housed together. The migrants Skrzynecki depicts in this poem are those who came to Australia after WWII at the invitation of the government. These migrants where segregated and isolated from the rest of the population even though they were actually invited to come to Australia. These immigrants where helping Australia to recover after the war but were treated appallingly. RELATE TO YOUR OWN micro/MACRO WORLD CONTEXT: Brainstorm how the context of the poem is still relevant today. Who migrates? Where do they go? How are they received? Belonging Motif: It is this separation from the rest of Australian society that induces feelings of isolation and lack of belonging in their new country they neither belong to their homeland or their new promised life. Key features/techniques: Four stanzas Imagery Irony Simile Symbolism Metaphorical motifs imprisonment and segregation/migratory birds Juxtaposition hope is contrasted with fear
15 Birds of PassageA term used to describe temporary migrants who move so they can fill jobs that are often viewed as beneath native-born labourers. The term was used in the United States as early as the 1840s to refer to British immigrants and remained in use through the late twentieth century to refer to Asian, European, and Latin American immigrants. The phenomenon of temporary or return migration can be traced back to the early decades of industrialization. In particular, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the steamship made travel easier and moving back and forth all the more possible. Industrial expansion, economic opportunities, and the possibility of returning to their homelands motivated birds of passage. return
16 Migrant Hostel – analysis continued QuoteTechniqueEffect – how it relates to belonging/not belonging‘No one kept count/of all the comings and goings-’Idiom , negative or neglected toneSuggests chaos and lack of administration‘Sudden departures.../That left us wondering’Chaotic, erratic and uncertain toneNo preparations made to assist the migrants to feel as if they belong‘Like a homing pigeon/circling to get bearings’Bird motif, simileThe migrants are trying to find something familiar‘We lived like birds of passage/Always sensing a change’Bird motif, reference to temporary migrant workers, simileSimile suggests they will be moving often.‘A barrier.../sealed off the highway’MetaphorSealed off from Australia and the chance to belong‘As it rose and fell like a finger/Pointed in reprimand or shame’Simile, accusatory toneFigurative language refers to negative treatment – invited to migrate.‘Needing its sanction/to pass in and out of lives/That had only begun/Or were dying’Sibilance, ironyPatronising bureaucracy that control their existence
17 MetalanguageMetonym: Object, person or concept is represented by a word that substitutes a part for the whole it is associated with. Eg, "crown" for "monarch".
18 Fitting in, by Dinh TranVillawood Detention Centre
19 Related Text: Fitting in, by Dinh Tran PurposeInform and educateAudienceGeneral readers of newspaperSituationReflection on childhood experienceStructural featuresText typeNewspaper article, non-fiction proseLanguage/plotFactual, first person, linear reflection – past tenseQuoteTechniqueEffect – how it relates to belonging/not belonging‘Flooded with memories from my childhood until the day I left my country – with no hope of returning.’MetaphorFigurative languageHyperbatonEmotive toneSense of loss – from the day I left emphasises that was the moment his sense of belonging was interrupted.
20 Fitting in continued Technique QuoteTechniqueEffect – how it relates to belonging/not belonging‘Flooded with memories from my childhood until the day I left my country – with no hope of returning.’MetaphorFigurative languageHyperbatonEmotive toneSense of loss – ‘from the day I left’ emphasises that was the moment his sense of belonging was interrupted.‘I hugged his skinny shoulders, I couldn’t stop myself crying like a child...the last time I saw him’Graphic realismSimile, declarative statementGrief and loss at the separation from, and death of a parent.“If you enter Singapore we will kill you all”Dialogue, declarative, graphic realismPrevented from finding new land to re-establish family.‘The Malaysians offered us something special: ships...to scare us away’Sarcasm‘It was an historic event’DeclarativeConnection to Australia
21 Fitting in continued Technique QuoteTechniqueEffect – how it relates to belonging/not belonging‘Readers may think this inconceivable, but we were happy’Explanatory toneThe protagonist had no extended family or friends and sought company with another family.‘The dirtiness of the tanks and the smell ...made me sick’Graphic realismWilling to suffer further hardships to belong‘I was nearly in a fight because of the language differences and the racism from another migrant worker’Confessional toneExamines notion that migrants’ isolation can be further effected by other migrants‘the most valuable achievement ... children have completed their schooling with great success.’AlliterationsibilancePride in accomplishment and achievement‘I hope my children will never forget that Australia was our benefactor.’RevelationIdentifies sense of belonging
22 Similarities and Differences Between Texts Migrant HostelFitting InText typePoemProse non-fictionLanguageFirst person past tenseContextMigrantsRefugee/sponsoredNarratorAuthor, memoirBelongingNationalities grouped togetherHardship experienced in attempt to belongMigrants grouped in their combined plight of not belonging.Developed English speaking skills, successful children and finance.Not BelongingNot welcomed – careless administration, feelings of retributionIntimidated by other migrant - racism
24 10 Mary StreetThink about a house or place where you felt that you truly belonged. List five things about that house which made you feel as if you belonged. Develop each of these five things into similes, metaphors or other imagery.10 Mary Street was the poet’s first real home in Australia, where they were able to create a routine and found a sense of belonging. How does the poet convey this? Use evidence.How does the bird symbolism differ in 10 Mary Street from the bird symbolism in Migrant Hostel?
25 10 Mary Street Analysis Technique repetition QuoteTechniqueEffect – how it relates to belonging/not belongingFor nineteen years/We departed.../to school and workrepetitionMy parents watered/Plants – grew potatoes.../Tended roses and camelliasalliteration and juxtapositionI’d ravage the backyard garden/Like a hungry birdThe Australian land and their efforts are literally supporting them.With paint guaranteed/For another ten yearsAssimilation – adopting practicesLawns grow across/Dug-up beds of /SpinachAssimilation is encroaching on migrant traditionsFor nineteen years/We lived together-/Kept pre-war Europe aliveNaturalised more/Than a decade ago/We became citizens of the soilInheritors of a key/That’ll open no house/When this one is pulled down.
26 Related text: And the Bond Cannot be Broken, by Daniel Fudge Read the prose fiction by Fudge.What is the sense of belonging and how is it conveyed in this text?How does belonging and the connection to land differ between this text and 10 Mary Street?
27 And the Bond Can Not be Broken Analysis QuoteTechniqueEffect – how it relates to belonging/not belongingThe land continued into the distance forever...It was still as unforgiving as it had been when his grandfather won it in a game of cards.Wild landscape that will not be harnessed.Family’s future was casually or carelessly acquired in a card game.It was horribly beautiful...it scared the shit out of himThe land is something to be feared.Just as the storm sucked the breath out of the earth, the Land had suffocated his family.Again, the land is powerful and to be feared. Suggests a continuing negative sense of attachment to the land.Women came and went, unable to understand the stifling pull the Land had on their men.The men have an inexorable connection to the land. Is it the challenge it presents?He was older now, with 24 years of exhausting work buried in the landProtagonist has worked the land but without the reward that the poet examines in 10 Mary Street.He would be spending the rest of his life out here...alone in this oil-paint landscape of timelessness.Connected, but tone of desperation suggests it will not bring satisfaction.And the Bond Can Not be Broken Analysis
28 St Patrick’s CollegeThe College's crest was designed in 1938 and is made up of three components:The Shield: a symbol of strength and fortitude.The Motto: Those who wear the crest pledge fidelity to the College motto 'Luceat Lux Vestra', Latin for "Let Your Light Shine".The Star: the College lights the way toknowledge and to the Heavenly Father.The school has a strong sporting focus.Consider: What do school traditions,values and the motto ’Christ is my light”mean to you? How will you rememberyour school days?
29 ActivityIn the form of a diary entry, record a time when you felt isolated at school.Think about who, what, when, where, why and how.Remember to include an emotional response to the incident.How did you overcome the event?
30 St Patrick’s College Of her employer’s sons, My last day thereMass was offered upFor our departing intentions,Our Lady still watchingAbove, unchanged by eight years’ weather.With closed eyesI fervently countedThe seventy-eight pagesOf my Venite Adoremus,Saw equations I never understoodRubbed off the blackboard,Voices at bus stops, litanies and hymnsTaking the right-hand turnOut of Edgar Street for good;Prayed that Mother would someday be pleasedWith what she got for her money –That the darkness around meWasn’t ‘for the best’Before I let my light shine.Impressed by the uniformsOf her employer’s sons,Mother enrolled me at St Pat’sWith never a thoughtTo fees and expenses – wanting only“What was best”.From the roofOf the secondary school blockOur Lady watchedWith outstretched arms,Her face overshadowed by cloudsMother crossed herselfAs she left me at the office –Said a prayerFor my future intentions.Under the principal’s windowI stuck pine needlesInto the mottoOn my breast:Luceat Lux VestraI thought was a brand of soap.For eight yearsI walked Strathfield’s paths and streets,Played chasings up and downThe station’s ten ramps –Caught the 414 busLike a foreign tourist,Uncertain of my destinationEvery time I got off.I carried the blue, black and goldI’d been privileged to wear:Learnt my conjugationsAnd Christian decorums for homework,Was never too bright at scienceBut good at spelling’Could say The Lord’s PrayerIn Latin, all in one breath.
31 St Patrick’s College Analysis A reflective appraisal – with the benefit of hindsight and experience.Overall tone is condemnatory, hints at institutional alienation rather than imbuing school spirit or inclusionNo reference to positive growth or learning.Catholicism referenced by statues, prayers, ethos and Mass but no real affinity inferred by such ‘decorums’.Large part of childhood spent there (repetition of 8 years) but no reference to period being enjoyable.Anonymity dominates – symbolises few meaningful connections poet has made.Overall perception is drudgery and uniformity – a penance to be endured.Conformity to strict educational codes has appeared to stultify poet’s individuality.Mother’s notion of ‘What was best’ was not ‘for the best’Note irony in last sentence –before I let my light shine
32 St Patrick’s College analysis Quote Technique Effect – how it relates to belonging/not belonging‘impressed by the uniforms/Of her employer’s sons’Mother does not base her decision on tradition or belonging but a desire for betterment.‘with never a thought to fees and expenses’Desire to belong determining factor not money.‘-wanting only what was best’‘From the roof.../Our Lady watched...her face overshadowed by clouds’Ominous – as if statue suggests he will not be welcomed at this school.‘Mother crossed herself’‘I stuck pine needles/Into the motto’Poet’s disengagement with school or sense of rebelliousness“‘Luceat Lux Vestra’/I thought was a brand of soap”‘For eight years/I walked Strathfield’s paths and streetsTone suggests ritual and lacks any passion. Not belonging
33 St Patrick’s analysis continued... St Patrick’s College Analysis continued QuoteTechniqueEffect – how it relates to belonging/not belonging‘Like a foreign tourist/Uncertain of my destination.’‘For eight years/I carried the blue, black and gold’Assimilation into this school is a burden he must carry.‘I’d been privileged to wear’‘Could say the Lord’s Prayer/In Latin, all in one breathNo sense of connection to what he has learnt.‘Our Lady still watching.../With closed eyes’Poet is figuratively excluded by her ‘closed eyes’‘Out of Edgar street for good;’Relief at leaving place poet did not belong.‘Prayed that someday Mother would be pleased’Realises his mother has not achieved her aims.“The darkness around me/Wasn’t ‘for the best’”Darkness represents his sense of isolation and exclusion‘Before I let my light shine’He has succeeded in spite of schoolSt Patrick’s analysis continued...
34 Further Activities for St Patricks College: How has the poet achieved a sense of belonging and isolation?Use textual evidence to support your answer.What do the mother’s reasons for sending her son to St Patrick’s College suggest about her desire to assimilate?It is possible to fit in without belonging. Use this statement as the basis for an interview with Peter Skrzynecki. Write a transcript of this interview with specific reference to St Patrick’s College.
35 Pre-reading for Ancestors What is an ancestor?Who are your ancestors?What do they mean to you?How do your ancestors contribute to your sense of belonging or not belonging?Some words you need to know:Enigmatic – not clear, or difficult to understandApocalyptic – involving or suggesting widespread devastation or doomDisquiet - troubled, uneasy, deprived of peace,Discordant -at variance; disagreeing
36 Ancestors Who are these shadows That hang over you in a dream – Behind them areMountains, the sound of a river,A moonlit plainOf grasses and sand. Why do theyNever speak – how longIs their wait to be? Why do you wake As their faces become clearer –Your tongue dry As caked mud? From across the plain Where sand and grasses never stirThe wind tastes of blood.Who are these shadowsThat hang over you in a dream –The bearded, faceless men Standing shoulder to shoulder ?What secretsDo they whisper into the darkness-Why do their eyesNever close?Where do they point toFrom the circle around you-To what starDo their footprints lead?
37 Ancestors - Belonging Motif Strongly speculative toneReflects on human identity and the chain of life that links us all to our ancestors.Understanding of who we are involves a consideration of our connection to others.Emphasis on our own mortality within a context of eternity.Simple structure of mostly four line stanzasMainly rhetorical questions which query our relationship with those who have preceded us.Sinister connotations arise from references to ‘shadows’, ‘dream’, ‘whispers’ and ‘darkness’ and the ‘tastes of blood’Loaded terms which conjure disturbing and eerie associations.Perceptions are indistinct and give a dark, dreamlike quality to the verse.Enigmatic element to the poem’s examination of life and death, with complex layers of meaning that are never fully developed.
38 Ancestors Analysis Quote Technique Effect – how it relates to belonging/not belongingAncestors – titleallusionReference to the chain of life that links us all to our ancestors‘hang over you’‘bearded, faceless men’Intimidating toneForbears, the people who have preceded the poet are important but relatively unknown to him.‘What secrets/Do they whisper’SibilanceEnigmatic, half formed, hold key to past but not worshipped‘Why do their eyes/Never close?’Visual imageryRhetorical questionDisturbing image – intent of ancestors unknown‘From the circle around you’symbolismTrapped by an unknown past.‘To what star/Do their footprints lead?’metaphorDirectional, descendant is led to undetermined places.
39 Ancestors analysis continued... QuoteTechniqueEffect – how it relates to belonging/not belonging‘A moonlit plain/ Of grasses and sand’Simple visual imageryDisquieting image. Details of past is lost to the sleeper.‘Why do they/Never speak?’Rhetorical questionReader included. We too will join ancestors.‘Why do you wake/As their faces becomes clearer -’Visual imageryIronyAs we age, role of ancestors becomes clearer but as yet they are metaphorically out of reach.‘Your tongue dry/As caked mud?’simileInnate fear of death, fear of vision.‘Where sand and grasses never stir/The wind tastes of blood.’Juxtaposition contrasting notions, metaphorJars expectations - waking usually alleviates fear however the disquiet continues, emphasised by reference to death (‘blood’).
40 PostcardConsider:In what circumstances do people usually send postcards?What are the word associations ‘postcard’ conjures?
42 Postcard 3 2 Warsaw, Old Town I never knew you Except in the third person –Great cityThat bombs destroyed,Its people massacredOr exiled – You survivedIn the mindsOf a dying generationHalf a world away.They shelter youAnd defend the patternsOf your remaking,Condemn your politics,Cherish your old religionAnd drink to freedomUnder the White Eagle’s flag.3I stareAt the photographAnd refuse to answerThe voicesOf red gablesAnd a cloudless sky.On the river’s bankA lone treeWhispers:“We will meetBefore you die.”1 A postcard sent by a friend Haunts me Since its arrival – Warsaw: Panorama of the Old Town. He requests I show it To my parents. Red buses on a bridge Emerging from a corner – High-rise flats and something Like a park borders The river with its concrete pylons. The sky’s the brightest shade.
43 Belonging Motif in Postcard A simple postcard sparks off a chain of reverie as the poet addresses the demands of cultural heritage on expatriates, years after they have left their homeland.The poet was four years old when he arrived in Australia yet the postcard has a strong impact on him.He can predicts his parents’ reactions to the card but cannot predict the impact the image will have on him.It strangely has the power to call to him as the city whispers an invitation that he will probably be unable to resist.We are taken through a number of stages of his response. We listen to the two-way conversation between him and the city he really does not know as it beckons him home.The poet’s ‘stare’ indicates the city’s pull and while he attempts to dismiss its cultural connection, he seems compelled to answer the city’s siren voice as she confidently whispers ‘we will meet/before you die’.
44 St Patrick’s analysis continued... Postcard AnalysisQuoteTechniqueEffect – how it relates to belonging/not belongingHaunts meHe requests I show it/To my parentsThe skies the brightest shadeWarsaw, Old Town/I never knew you/except in the third personYou survived in the minds/Of a dying generationThey shelter youDrink to freedom/Under the White Eagle’s flagIrony of patriotism to a country in which they no longer live and does not give them regard.For the moment,/ I repeat,I never knew youSt Patrick’s analysis continued...
45 Postcard Analysis continued... Quote Technique Effect – how it relates to belonging/not belongingMy father/Will be proud/Of your domesMy mother/Will speak of her/Beloved UkraineWhat’s my choice/To be?What more/Do you want/Besides/The gift of despair?I stare/At the photograph/And refuse the answer the voices... A cloudless sky“We will meet you before you die.”
46 PostcardIn this poem Skrzynecki is confronted with a journey to Warsaw if he is to truly understand his parents experience. He will also need to undertake this journey if he is to feel that he belongs and understands his heritage. How do we detect the poet’s reluctance to take this journey? Use textual examples.How are migrants’ connectedness to the land of their birth reinforced in this poem? What figurative devices reinforce this notion?Why is the poet unable to share his parents’ pride in their homeland?Does the poem suggest he will find peace if he travels to his native country? Explain using textual evidence.
47 In the Folk Museum Pre-reading activity: The title of the poem ‘In the Folk Museum’ provides a sense of place. Visualise a folk museum and describe what it looks like.Why do you think the museum was not called by its actual name? Does this denote a sense of unfamiliarity?
49 In the Folk Museum The caretaker sits Beside a winnowing machine The caretaker sitsBeside a winnowing machineAnd knits without looking up –Her hair’s the same colourAs the grey clay bottleThat’s cold as water to touch.In the Town Hall next doorThey sing to Christ –Of the Sabbath Day and the Future of Man.I try to memorizeThe titles of booksWhile ‘Eternity, Eternity’Is repeated from a reader’s text.The wind taps hurriedlyOn the roof and wallsAnd I leave without wanting a final look.At the door the old woman’s handTouches mine.‘Would you please sign the Visitors’ Book?’In the Folk MuseumA darkness in the roomsBetrays the absence of voices,Departing from stepsAnd verandah rails-On to a street that leads around AutumnWhich stands at the doorDressed in yellow and brown.I look at wordsThat describe machinery, clothes, transport,A Victorian Bedroom –Hay knife, draining plough,Shoulder yoke, box iron:Relics from Tablelands heritageTo remind me of a pastWhich isn’t mine.
50 Belonging MotifNo real sense of belonging developed in this poem, except that of belonging to a bygone era.Poet feels alienated by relics of the past – no substantial connection to his own existence through mismatched collection of utensils and tools.Momentary interest is shown in random items, nothing sustained prompts him to look closer.The caretaker is not connected to the artefacts in the museum in any real sense as she knits in the doorway, interacting superficially with occasional visitors.Place of past has little connection with the present.Over-riding feeling is one of disaffection and disconnection.The collection ‘isn’t mine’ and does not reach this young man and holds no significance, historically, culturally or personally.
51 Postcard Analysis continued... Quote Technique Effect – how it relates to belonging/not belongingA darkness in the rooms betrays the absence of voices...Autumn/...Dressed in yellow and brownI look at wordsTo remind me of a past/Which isn’t mine.The caretaker sits.../And knits without looking up.Her hair’s the same colour/As the grey clay bottleIn the Town Hall next door/They sing to Christ –‘Eternity, Eternity’
52 Postcard Analysis continued... Quote Technique Effect – how it relates to belonging/not belongingThe wind taps hurriedlyI leave without wanting a final lookthe old woman’s hand/Touches mineWould you please sign the Visitors’ Book?’
53 Activities for Folk Museum How does personification in the opening lines establish atmosphere?The narrative stance shifts in the second stanza – why? What does it change to and why do you think the poet has done this?‘To remind me of a past which isn’t mine’ – what does this suggest about the concept of belonging.How does the use of similes in the third stanza enhance the description?What is the symbolism of the ‘old woman’s hand’ touching the persona?Why does the poet introduce the caretaker’s voice in the final line? Is this an effective ending?Write a poem – at least four stanzas – describing a setting where you either belong or don’t belong. Use at least one example of personification, one simile and feature both first and third person narrative stances. Aim to make the reader see, feel and hear the setting.
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