By Peter Skrzynecki
Topic sentence: the poem explores the relationship between the poet and his father and their contrasting experiences of belonging in a new land
Point: the poem opens with a positive description of Peter Skrzynecki’s father and his detachment from the consumer competitiveness of his neighbours. His home is the garden Example: “gentle” “ten times around the world”
Technique: positive description, hyperbole
Effect: hyperbole creates a sense of his belonging in this setting as he chooses to stay within its boundaries. His experience of displacement (after war) has led to his chosen state of positive isolation in a secure place (his comfort zone) Point: evidence of his hard labour in the garden is highlighted in his body, yet it is clear that his work is a labour of love Example: his hands “darkened” by cement; his fingers “with cracks”; his arms over exerted through turning soil and rolling tobacco Technique: highlighted
Example: “forced labour in Germany”
Effect: he chooses to work in this hard setting, because of his sense of belonging in his garden Point: the reader becomes to see Feliks Polish friends as further sources of acceptance and belonging for Feliks Example: reminiscing about fertile farms (“flowered”) and animals (“bred”) in their native Poland Technique: share memories, positive connotations of the verbs Effect: suggest the immigrants shared nostalgia springing from their common experiences Point: in contrast to the friends’ sense of belonging when reminiscing, Peter finds their speech and actions alienating Example: shake hands “too violently”, never gets used to the “formal address” by which they greet his father Technique: Negative connotations
Effect: heighten the sense of Peter’s discomfort in this situation. This feeling of alienation signals the beginning of Peter’s movement from his polish heritage as a young person, but also the natural movement of a...