Post card by Peter Skrzynecki

8 August 2016

Post Card Postcards is a poem, the last of the immigrant chronicles, written by Peter Skrzynecki. The immigrant Chronicles is a series of poems talking about Skrzynecki’s personal life and experiences of having parents who has emigrated from country under communist influence. This poem specifically talks about a postcard with an image of Warsaw, the largest town in Poland, printed on the front. It is an emotional poem which trigger different types of reactions at different stages of the poem. In the first stanza, the quote “He requests I show it to my parents” shows that the sender, who is a friend of Skrzynecki, knew the whole family.

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The word ‘requested’ is a higher order word, used to tell the reader that Peter has an obligation to show his parents. In the second part of the first paragraph, the composer uses adjective to describe the image on the post card. “Red buses” and “Sky’s the brightest shades” radiates a busy ‘happy’ town. However, in the beginning, the composer uses personification, “A post card sent by a friend – haunts me”. The postcard, cannot haunt as it is an inanimate object. The use of the word ‘haunts’ contradicts with the words that are used to describe the postcard later on.

The first stanza of the second part of the poem talks about the town of Warsaw. Skrzynecki uses first person, but then immediately shifts to second person, as if he was having a conversation with the town. The quote ‘I never knew you’ uses both first and second person in the same sentence, but then continues and comments on hearing about it in the third person. This tell the audience that Skrzynecki is not familiar with the town. The stanza then goes on and talks about all the things that happened to the town.

Skrzynecki again uses imagery to give the audience an idea or what the town has gone through, which gives the town a persona, who has its own problems and beliefs. The poem progresses with Skrzynecki continually using personification to add on to the persona of the town. “And all rivers have – an obstinate glare” is an example of this personification. This technique further develops the persona of the town, but at the same time gives the audience a sense of unfamiliarity with the town. Skrzynecki once again uses first person, “I repeat, I never knew you”, however it is used different as it emphasises the image of not knowing the town.

Skrzynecki mentions about his father and mother, both of whom had a place of origin or belonging, whereas he has no place of belonging. The last line asks a rhetorical question. The effect of this gives the poem a tone of anger, with sarcasm, which shows that the composer is upset of having no place of belonging. The last stanza, continues on the tone of frustration, as if a child is throwing a tantrum. It is clearly evident that the composer is upset and confused. Skrzynecki used personification and changes the tone of the poem. “A lone tree whispers… ” slows the pace of the poem down and finishes it off.

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