Topics: Australia, Metaphor, Indigenous Australians Pages: 2 (771 words) Published: August 14, 2014
The poem Feliks Skrzynecki addresses several profound values and assumptions associated with immigration and belonging. One particularly striking value is the growing disparity between father and son – Feliks Skrzynecki and the poet, Peter Skrzynecki – and the concerns regarding their relationship. Throughout the poem, Peter, speaking from personal experiences, speaks for both his own and his father’s sense of self and belonging, specifically contrasting their different perspectives. Feliks loves his Polish culture, and will probably never change passions towards his environment - Australia: “kept pace only with the Joneses/ of his own mind’s making.” We later develop an understanding of his “mind’s making” in the next line: “Loved his garden like an only child.” This garden is a reflection of his past culture; the simile further highlight’s Feliks’ sense of belonging for this culture. Also, the particular diction “only child” stresses Feliks’ connection with his garden as opposed to his connection with Peter, who was Feliks’ one (adopted) son. Peter, instead of sharing his father’s view of polish customs, he feels excluded and could never relate to his father’s polish culture and friends: “His Polish friends/ always shook hands too violently... That formal address/ I never got used to.” Part of this could have come from the fact that he had grown up in Australia, away from the “farms where paddocks flowered / with corn and wheat...” (Poland) – The place where his father had grown up. Perhaps the phrase “Happy as I have never been” is the final turning point between Peter and Feliks. This phrase ultimately emphasises the distinction between Peter and Feliks, in which, ironically, one had led a harsh life full of work in the old traditional culture, whilst the other was far more fortunate in the new Australian society. Municipal gum takes on a far more generalised voice in that the persona adopts a more pitiful tone. In this poem, rather than accumulating certain...
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