Analysis of Feliks Skrzynecki
Analysis Of Feliks Skrzynecki Analysis of “Feliks Skrzynecki” 1. What ideas about belonging or not belonging are explored in the poem (4-5 sentences) Throughout Peter Skrzynecki’s poem, Feliks Skrzynecki, the idea of belonging or not belonging is explored through many aspects. These aspects emerge through pre-existing cultures and personal relationships. 2.
How does Skrzynecki use poetic and strural techniques to explore ideas of belonging or not belonging in “Feliks Skrzynecki” The possessive pronoun is used as a technique in the first stanza to establish the strong and respected relationship between Peter Skrzynecki and his father Felikes Skrzynecki. “My” is seen as the possessive pronoun and is used in the first line “My gentle father”. This possessive pronoun effectively explores the idea of belonging because it is used to show the strong relationship between the father and the son.
Cultural belonging is also explored through the first stanza. this form of cultural belonging shows how Felikes Skrzynecki is disconnected from Australia, but belongs to his garden because it reminds him of his previous life within Europe. The word “Love” is used as a technique of Emotive language to express his sense of belonging. Peter Skrzynecki describes that his father “loved his garden like an only child”. The use of emotive language shows how Feliks Skrzynecki belongs to his garden.
Feliks Skrznecki’s sense of belonging to his garden is strengthened in stanza three. Simile’s are used as poetic techniques to express this. Peter Skrzynecki says “Hands darkened from cement, fingers with cracks Like the sods he broke. By comparing his fathers cracked fingers to the grass that he cut expresses A sense of cultural belonging is evident in the third stanza through Feliks Skrzynecki’s connection with his previous polish culture. Imagery is used within this stanza to convey the sense of belonging that Feliks once had. Talking, they reminisced About farms… Belonging is central to how we define ourselves: our belonging to or connections with people, places and groups enables one to develop a distinct identity characterised by affiliation, acceptance and association. Skrzynecki (pronounced sher-neski), straddles a dichotomy; that of identification and disconnection. On the one hand, the father represents an alienation experienced by an older migrant, while the son experiences the gradual integration into a new society.
This is a subdued poem in tribute to his father, a common labourer, whose dignity, integrity and resolute principles leave a lasting impression on his son. Feliks does not dance to the dominant tune as evidenced by the modified cliche “kept pace only with the Joneses/Of his own mind’s making-“ He is a man who lives by his own standards, a non-conformist, not influenced by those around him. Despite his outwardly toughness, Peter claims him as “My gentle father” and “the softness of his blue eyes”, indicating his dual nature; tough and uncompromising at work, soft and gentle inner nature at home.
His persistence is indicated by the diligent husbandry of his garden compared to his only child who ravages the garden (yet there is no indication of any resentment from the father or jealousy from an only son). The exaggeration of “walked years” sweeping it “ten times around the world” denotes a hint of humour. Feliks has an organic sense of belonging associated with the soil or the land, very little with the rest of the Australian people. This is illustrated by an authoritarian bureaucrat “A crew-cut, grey-haired/… /Who asked me in dancing-bear grunts:/Did your father ever attempt to learn English? ”
While certainly a song of praise (ode) to his father, the poem is a realistic, warts and all portrayal “hands hardened with cement, fingers with cracks”. His stoicism developed during his war years allows him to cope with the stresses of growing older; work, inclement weather and cancer, all countered with “but I’m alive”. The disconnection between father and son comes from the latter’s inability to retain his Polish heritage fully. He cannot relate to the Polish friends, with their violent handshakes, their formal address, their reminiscing about farming in Poland, he even begins to forget some Polish words, much to his father’s dismay.
At the same time the persona – here the poet, admits that his father may be “Happy as I have never been. ” The poet and the father are resigned that the son will integrate and assimilate with the Australian culture and traditions. The father, like a “dumb prophet” (taciturn wise man) allows the son to put down his roots – “pegging my tents/Further and further south of Hadrian’s Wall”. Note that tents are not permanent structures and Hadrian’s wall becomes a rich complex symbol of defence mechanisms, traditions and European ways.
Through this poem we get to know about as much about the son as the father. The relationship appears to be a wholesome one of mutual respect and friendship. The affiliation with family is a prominent motif running through much of Skrzynecki’s poetry and it is there the fractured identity problems originate. While embracing his new country, he yearns to cling to his parents values. He is not Robinson Crusoe. It is through informal language and resonating images that Peter Skrzynecki manages to create a realistic but favourable portrait of his father.