Skrzynecki's Poetry and Lantana (Film); Belonging

Humanity craves to belong, fulfilling this desire through the connection we create in sharing our literature. Universality is entrenched in our creations, offering guidance to those who have access in that we create to entomb obstacles we have, or will overcome. Overcoming these obstacles as well as sharing this experience exemplifies belonging, demonstrated in the given quote: “Developing a sense of belonging often requires overcoming various obstacles and challenges.”   This concept is also illustrated in a collection of poems composed into Immigrant Chronicle, by Peter Skrzynecki, and Lantana, a 2001 released film by Ray Lawrence.
Skrzynecki’s poems are an attempt to overcome previous obstacles of the poet’s past. Throughout Migrant Hostel, 10 Mary Street and In the Folk Museum, Skrzynecki uses his poetry to process the impacts that being a migrant imposed on him, focusing on the major consequence of this status: instability. Similarly, Lantana explores this blanket theme of instability through subverting the concept of trust into an inherent distrust of trust. Both texts climax in recognition: Skrzynecki realising he has come to accept Australia as his adopted home, although he is indeed an immigrant. Personas within Lantana realise their lives are composed of obstacles which they themselves have constructed. Both texts embody the dislocation caused by these obstacles and accentuate the need for them to be overcome so the characters can redevelop their broken sense of belonging.

“Home is a notion that only the uprooted comprehend.”- (Wallace Stegner) Migrant Hostel embodies the uprooting of Skrzynecki’s family and their overcoming the subsequent disconnection. The poem describes the family’s experience of finding solace in the shared experience of immigrancy with other members in their camp. The use of the word ‘Hostel’ in the title demonstrates impermanence, instability and temporariness; emphasising this blanket theme and the displacement of Skrzynecki’s...