The Immigrant Chronicles Essay

1447 words - 6 pages

“Some people seek journeys while others have journeys forced upon them.” It is through this quote that Peter Skrzynecki’s (S.) “The immigrant Chronicles” explores the world of physical journeys. Skrzynecki has conveyed the causes and origins of journeys through many poems, in particular “Crossing the Red Sea” and “Immigrants at Central Station”. Many other composers have also explored the concept of journeys including Kate Forsyth’s novel “The Starthorn Tree”, 2002, and Kenneth Grahame’s novel “Wind in the Willows”, 1908. All these composers depict the causes and origins of journeys where the traveler is extended physically, emotionally and psychologically.S. poem “Crossing the Red Sea” is a poem which depicts the traumatic journey of migration and human triumph. It is an epic journey which epitomizes the journey of all journeys. This poem discusses the post holocaust emotions felt by the refugees who fled from the suffering, war and dislocation as they watched their familiar shore lines disappear. The reason behind the title is to the allude to the biblical journey of where Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. The biblical allusions of exile, offering and mercy underline that the immigrants are at the mercy of god. The reference of Lazarus, who was raised from the dead, is suggestive of a new life and a better future for the immigrants. S. conveys the origins of journeys in this poem and the reasons for why the journey occurred. In “Crossing the Red Sea” the immigrants have the journey forced upon them. S. does this through portraying how he remembers the journey as a child and his view on the journey from an adult perspective.S. uses a variety of language techniques throughout “Crossing the Red Sea” to convey the differences in responses to journeys. He uses colour imagery throughout the poem, specifically red colour imagery. This red colour imagery represents pain, hardship and blood in the old communist country where they had to “mock salute” to red banners. Red imagery is also used to describe the poppies, which shows a remembrance of their homeland and their passion and love of life. Throughout his poems, and in “Crossing the Red Sea” S. uses the metaphor of time to portray to the responder his belief that there is not enough time to explore and to see everything. He also personifies time, “Time was hoisting” (referring to banners) which allows the responder to understand his thoughts on time. S. also puts this poem in historical, social and political context. He effectively describes that the refugees are fleeing from communism and war-torn Europe with everything that they had to witness there; “1949, and the war Now four years dead –“. This poem shows that a journey is often involuntary, and is only made to escape from death and misfortune.Another poem which S....

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