The poem Post card by Peter Skrzynecki explores multiple ideas concerning belonging including barriers that accumulate with attempting to develop a sense of belonging, and aid to prevent this. As well the feelings and perceptions of belonging experienced by an individual changing over time, and lastly the ties between our feelings about belonging with our sense of identity. The poem presents the challenges undertaken by Skrzynecki to reach a sense of belonging within his culture and personal self. Barriers that arise at times with trying to establish belonging make it difficult and succeed in finding this feeling. Types of barriers can vary from outside barriers such as economic factors, education, culture, age, gender to self imposed barriers including lack of confidence, self image and fear of acceptance. Alongside with these barriers that accumulate with belonging is the creation of tension between belonging and not belonging. The simple symbol postcard constructs a chain of reverie in the Poet’s mind which challenges his cultural heritage. Even though, Peter Skrzynecki immigrated with his family at the early age of four his cultural heritage still strongly impacts him. The tensions that arise in the poet is the constant struggle deciding on his place between the two cultures, he feels a sense of belonging in his new culture in Australia yet his homeland Poland has an undeniable pull which constants to affect him in ways he cannot fully understand. The poem follows the poet struggling to come to terms with what exactly culture he belongs to, and even the importance of his cultural heritage that refuses to be ignored. The personification in the poem of Poland in ‘Warsaw, Old Town ’is addressing Warsaw directly, as if he is confronting it as well as suggesting his culture is a living thing within himself. The emotive words found throughout the poem such as ‘Haunts’ referring to the postcard are used as they are connotations of disturbance and he intends to challenge the reader’s expectations of the symbolism of a postcard by providing it with haunting qualities. More deeply the symbol of the postcard signifies in terms of connections to his homeland, a previous existence and a feeling of belong which inevitably causes conflict with his Australian culture because of the diversity and lack of understanding. The feelings and perceptions people feel and experience according to belonging change over time, no matter how hard an individual attempts this cannot be stopped as it’s due to us as human beings growing and maturing our attitudes and values which change. In the beginning of the poem, he notice the poet is challenging the importance of his cultural heritage only to later in the poem hint at that he might show some recognition of his cultural heritage. He hits a resolution in the fact that he is realizing the high modality of his culture and how it remains a central aspect of him. The detached tone in the second stanza ‘Red buses on a bridge, Emerging from a corner ’depicts a straight forward description which creates a sense of distance between him and his cultural heritage. The marginalization felt by Peter is also conveyed through his use of no emotion in words. The ties that are closely connected to the emotions felt about belonging and our sense of identity determine how we perceive ourselves and the way we connect with others. Peter’s parents have achieved a sense of belonging and found their identity as for Peter he attempts to assimilate yet he struggles. Throughout his struggle to find himself, he raises the questions of personal individual choice ‘What’s my choice, to be?’, even though it’s clear he can’t understand the indicative of a pull from his cultural heritage we comes to terms with his place in the end of the poem. The personification of the postcard conveys his resolution, the words ‘I stare at the photography and refuse to answer the voices ‘depicts a sense of resolution...
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