Postcard by Peter Skrzynecki

Published: 2021-09-12 06:40:12
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Category: English

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The poem Postcard by Peter Skrzynecki encapsulates the sense that the author does not belong to the town that he is writing about. The town Warsaw is described as the town where his parents grew up. The reader immediately gets the sense that Skrzynecki is disconnected from the town just from the first line which reads 'a post card sent by a friend'. This quote suggests that he is observing the town from afar as his friend is sending him a postcard. The fact that Skrzynecki does not belong to Warsaw is further highlighted by the phrase 'I never knew you, except in the third person'. This informs the reader that his parents belong to the town and that the only connection Skrzynecki has with the town is through his parents. As the poem progresses we are faced with an inner battle that Skrzynecki is facing concerning his parents' home town of Warsaw. Skrzynecki's attitude towards Warsaw changes throughout the poem in that he does not want to have a connection with Warsaw, but it is inevitable as his parents are connected with the town. This emphasises the capacity that the passage of time can have on one's experience of belonging.
Throughout the poem Skrzynecki refers to the town directly as 'you' which personifies the town. In the second stanza Skrzynecki speaks to the personified town about certain characteristics which gives us a sense that Skryznecki is somewhat connected to the town, which is ironic considering he has never visited. Even though in the first paragraph of stanza two the reader begins to feel a sort of connection between Skrzynecki and Warsaw, it is quickly juxtaposed by the following paragraph which depicts Skrzynecki rejecting the town. The phrase 'I've seen red buses elsewhere and all the rivers have an obstinate glare' suggests that Skrzynecki feels as though Warsaw has nothing special to offer him. Furthermore the word obstinate has negative connotations which represent his feelings towards the town. Skrzynecki rhetorically asks about his choice of home and where he belongs 'what's my choice to be?', reinforcing his changeable inner conflict regarding where he feels he belongs. At the end of the poem Skrzynecki's inevitable connection with the town emerges further. The final image of the tree whispering 'we will meet before you die' gives the reader a sense of hope for Skrzynecki's future in that he will hopefully have the opportunity to develop a connection with his heritage and the town of Warsaw.

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