The extensive study of Peter Skryznecki’s poetry and additional texts from Dennie Gordon and Carla Van Raay assisted me in the understanding that individuals may be excluded from family and friends with differing backgrounds, yet still remain capable of cultivating a sense of belonging to certain individuals, groups or places who share similar traits or attitudes with them.
Peter Skryznecki’s poem ‘Postcard’ signifies the lack of connection that Skryznecki feels towards his parent’s homeland, which is seen through the image on the postcard, sent by a friend who,
“...requests I show it/To my parents”.
Throughout the poem it is highlighted that the postcard has differing personal connections towards the poets parents than himself and therefore is more intimate towards them.
Due to the poets family background the image has a powerful resonance. The poet continues to address the image of the city as ‘alive’ and a “Great City”, to those who have experienced her, yet this excludes Skryznecki. He states,“I never knew you/Except in the third person.”
This helps elucidate the distance Skryznecki feels towards this city. This creates a sense of disconnectedness between the poet and his families background and suggests that although he may not belong to their background he is still capable of cultivating a sense of belonging to other individuals, groups and places. This sense of distance between the poet and his family’s homeland as symbolised in the postcard, is further demonstrated when the poet outlines how the older migrants in Australia, such as his parents, have become custodians of Warsaw’s past, “They shelter you/…cherish your religion.”
The use of the third person here highlights that Warsaw does not belong in any tangible sense to the poet, he feels connected yet cut off at the same time. A sentiment which is repeated through the continual statement by the poet,
“I repeat, I never knew you/Let me be.”
This further emphasises the undeniable pull of his...