NOTES ON SKRZYNECKI POEMS
• Migrant hostel is autobiographical.
• Migration: relocation from one place to another – a significant journey.
• Migration of birds is seasonal and suggests survival.
Statements about journey
• Journeys can cause isolation
• Journeys can leave people unsure about their future.
• Journey can be long and tedious.
• Journeys (physical) involve obstacles.
• Journey is an ongoing process.
• The process is more important than the destination.
• Journeys can lead to a new start.
• Journeys could cause/can be a negative experience.
• Journeys challenge the assumption that migrants who came to Australia found the Promised Land.
Which lines indicate these migrants were “on route” and had not reached their destination?
• “Comings and goings”
• “Sudden departures”
• “For over 2 years we lived like birds of passage…”
• “Arrivals of newcomers in busloads from the station”
• “Sealed off the highway”
How does this refugee camp compare with a prison?
• “Sudden departures from adjoining blocks” gives prison like atmosphere.
• “A barrier at the maingate” suggests no escape, like a prison.
Explain the meaning of the similes of the birds.
• “Like a homing pigeon” suggests the migrants are seeking comfort and security
• “We lived like birds of passage” – always sensing a change in the weather
• “Unaware of whose track we would follow” – suggest on going journey, not quite the destination. Like birds migrating in different seasons. This is just one point/stop off in their journey.
The “barrier at the main gate” is personified. What human qualities is it given, and what is the effect?
• “Rose and fell like a finger” is given the personification of a person/finger lifting, and...