Post Card: Matters of Greater Significance

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Post Card

A post card is a simple thing but the poet uses this ordinary, commonplace object to evoke matters of greater significance. The post-card view of Warsaw, the Polish capital, also places the speaker’s experiences of the city, and of his attachment to it, in a particular context. A post card at once idealises a location but with its size and character also diminishes it. Skrzynecki ingeniously conveys his contradictory feelings about Warsaw by concentrating on a post card of the city and its affect on him. This poem is divided into three sections which firstly deals with the arrival of the post card which prompts memories and a relationship with the city that poet has not yet acknowledged and asks questions that he does not wish to answer. The final section forces the confrontation and the poet acknowledges that his heritage must be faced.  In the first stanza of the first section, the usage of the word haunt immediately suggests that the post card is notable, that it has significance for the poet because it has connotations of ghosts or ideas hanging around that are unwanted. Since its arrival – and haunt emphasises the discrepancies in his emotions. The irony here is that post cards are usually the cause of excitement and anticipation as the recipient eagerly and quickly reads it, but Skrzynecki is haunted by it. The usage of the personal objective pronoun me gives the poem a personal feel. The card depicts an old part of Warsaw sent by a friend to remind the poet’s parents of where they came from. The second stanza gives a simple description of the phot on the post card. The poet unusually pores over this subject and meticulously notices its every feature from the Red buses to The river and its concrete pylons and the sky’s brightest shade. The colours in the post card are unnatural and his unfamiliarity with Warsaw is emphasised when he cannot tell whether something is a park. He’s irresistibly drawn to the images though there’s nothing...
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