FELIK’S SKRZYNECKI The poem FELIKS SKRZYNECKI, by Peter Skrzynecki effectively portrays his childhood reminiscence as an adult. In the first stanza, he demonstrated his admiration for his father as a child and described him with respect, knowing that Felik’s Skrzynecki was his adopted father. Immediately, we can gain Peter Skrzynecki’s strong respect he has towards his father, fiercely emphasized by re-telling what Felik’s Skrzynecki had done for his family. “ Alert, brisk and silent, he swept its paths ten times around the world”

This reinforces the idea of how Peter Skrzynecki viewed his father’s protectiveness over his loved family. The description of his physical state also reinforces the idea of respect to his father, as evident in the phrase “ Hands darkened From cement, fingers with cracks, Like the sods he broke” This enhances his physical strength of Felik’s Skrzynecki, had resisted all the hardships that were heavily put upon him. Knowing that the Skrzynecki family had immigrated to Australia and like any other immigrants, had to live a strong, hard life because of money, being immigrants, displaced persons.

These two opening stanzas already allows the audience to empathize on Felik’s Skrzynecki. Aware that this poem is a reminiscence of Peter Skrzynecki’s childhood, Peter Skrzynecki started talking about how the Skrzynecki’s family greeted their fellow polish friends as portrayed in the below phrase “His Polish friends always shook hands too violently I thought… Felik’s Skrzynecki” Encapsulates thoughts of their relationship with their fellow mates from Poland who also happens to be displaced persons.

Again in stanza 4, Peter Skrzynecki repeats the sense of respect, affiliation by complimenting how strong he was and how well Felik’s Skrzynecki covered up his weak side and only showed the strong side to his family, as mentioned in the poem “I never once heard Him complain of work, the weather Or pain. When twice They dug cancer out of his foot His comment was: “ but I’m alive”. This last phrase “but I’m alive” must have been a penetrating memory for Peter Skrzynecki, allowing him to clearly remember the exact statement his father had said when he was at his worst physical state.

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Continuing in the poem, Peter Skrzynecki once again related back to stanza 2 and talks about his cultural side, the remnant of his remaining polish language. One of the words he was able to remember was the swear words and the words that described the physical appearance of a classic Nazi, directly referring to the Nazi’s during the closing of WW2. “ Remnants of a language I inherited unknowingly The curse that damned A crew-cut, grey-haired Department clerk”. This straight away gives the reader a visual imagery of what a classic Nazi might look like.

The use of visual imagery captures the readers attention, allowing them to feel more involved, also reinforced with the use of inclusive language. Throughout the whole story, we are able to carefully spot the moral of this poem, which was Peter Skrzynecki’s respect towards his father. Helped strongly by creating the atmosphere at the start of the poem. “On the backs of his house bordered by golden cypress, lawns-geraniums younger” enables the readers to immediately visualize the context of the house the Skrzynecki family used to live in. The description of golden cypress, lawns-geranium younger interprets the beauty of the house. at thirteen stumbling over tenses in the Caesar’s Gallic War I forgot my first Polish word” This last stanza reflects the period of when this poem was reminisced through the use of temporal reference, allowing the reader to immediately know the period of time. As Peter Skrzynecki mentioned that he forgot his first Polish words, this relates to him as an adult, now reminiscing about his childhood life and furthermore tells the reader that he might not want to have remembered his Polish side because it was such a hard time and was hard to endure the horrific memory during his immigration to Australia as displaced persons.

This poem Felik’s Skrzynecki, allows the reader to reminisce on their own experiences of their childhood as an adult. Especially to those who are immigrants to Australia and had experienced all the hardship Peter Skrzynecki had been through and his family as interpreted in this poem.


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