Notes on Migrat Hostel.

Migrant Hostel.                                                                                       Peter Skrzynecki
Parkes 1949-1951.

Stanza 1:
- Unsettling so much change
- “no one” indicates isolation among the masses of people. Feeling alone in the crowd. “Kept Count” so many of them, impossible to keep count, represents unsettlement.
- Poem about ‘place’, place being the hostel.
- ‘Parkes’ establishes that it’s a real place, establishing that the poem is real. It’s the truth, its a geographical place.
- First stanza is fast pace, all one sentence, clear rhythm, the dash used represents beings cut of, so much going on, fast place, suggests movement.
- ‘All the comings and goings’ suggests constant change, so sense of belonging or connections.
- ‘Arrivals of the newcomers’ no one knows anyone, no one connects.
- ‘Left us wondering’ sense of empathy felt.
- Emphasis on ‘who’ would be coming next. Clear sense of uncertainty, disconnection.
- ‘busloads, arrivals, comings and goings, station, adjoining, coming’ terms of movement, constant change and uncertainty.

Stanza 2:
- “Nationalities sought each other out instinctively” instinctively meaning naturally, unconsciously, like animals. It’s a basic need to be surrounded by familiarity, have a connection.
- Continues tone of uncertainty. No pronouns are used, all written in third person, indicating that he’s watching from above, another form of disconnection.
- “like a homing pigeon” simile.
- “Circling to get its bearings” looking around to find things that are familiar, can relate to another or something they have in common. Circling highlighting the confusion, as going around in circles you become dizzy.
- “bearings” a compass, loss of direction, trying to find where they fit in, loss of location.
- “recognised by accents” = connections they have with others “years and place names” are identifications, connections, what people could connect with, similarities, connections of the past.