Physical Journeys; Peter Skrzynecki and Related Texts Essay Example
Physical Journeys; Peter Skrzynecki and Related Texts Essay Example

Physical Journeys; Peter Skrzynecki and Related Texts Essay Example

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Physical journeys also involve emotional and spiritual journeys A physical journey brings inner growth and development from the experiences a person encounters from a physical transition from one place to another.

All physical journeys include obstacles and hardships however they also involve emotional and spiritual journeys along the way. Peter Skrzynecki’s poems “Postcard” and “Crossing The Red Sea” are both examples of an emotional journey within a physical journey. A feature article ‘A Desert Odyssey’ reported by Sue Williams and Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ also involve emotional journeys within a physical journey. Postcard’ is a poem by Skrzynecki about the arrival of a postcard for his parents.

As Skrzynecki’s culture is different from his parents, as he is Australian and they are Polish, this poem represents an emotional


journey and a promised physical journey to come. The title ‘Postcard’ is a connotation as the readers first thoughts of a postcard as being an insignificant event, however this is juxtaposed by the intense emotional journey that can be brought about by something small and seemingly unimportant shown throughout the entire poem. A postcard sent by a friend/Haunts me” are the first lines of the first stanza in the poem which is an immediate and intense start to the poem which juxtaposes the title ‘Postcard’ and shows that the postcard has had an immediate emotional impact by receiving the postcard. The poem is significant however as it represents Skrzynecki’s parents culture, by showing a picture of Warsaw, the capital of Poland on the front. This is what effects Skrzynecki the most as it is symbolic for showing Skrzynecki feels outcast to his parents.The personification

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“Warsaw, Old Town; I never knew you” demonstrates the outcast feeling Skrzynecki has towards Warsaw as he speaks to the postcard in 2nd person, also showing he has nothing in common with the place.

Repetition of “I never knew you” also shows the emotional impact Skrzynecki feels towards the postcard and emphasises his unfamiliarity with Poland. A childish retort by Skrzynecki “I’ve seen red buses elsewhere” also emphasises the emotional journey the postcard is taking him on despite his reluctance. A rhetorical question “What’s my choice to be? shows as much as he is pretending the postcard is of no significance to him and he is unfamiliar with the place, it is still a part of him and he is still undecided and uncertain on how to react by the postcard. The last stanza of the poem is personified by “A lone tree whispers: We will meet before you die”, therefore giving him a prophecy that he will eventually travel to Poland and gives a promise of a physical journey to come that is inevitable. Therefore the poem ‘Postcard’ shows readers that physical journeys can be created by emotional journeys and also be included into the physical journey.

Postcard’ shows readers events and things of the past can be a catalyst for an intense physical and emotional journey for the present and future. Aswell as the past being a catalyst for a physical and emotional journey, ‘Crossing the Red Sea’ also by Skrzynecki shows that A physical journey can also provide catharsis (emotional release) for repressed emotion and memory. Crossing the Red Sea is successful in showing that physical journeys can also include emotional journeys

as Skrzynecki is faced by a dramatic change of direction in life.This poem focuses on the journey of Skrzynecki as being part of the immigrants who escaped from slavery in a war torn Europe (1949) to freedom in Australia and its emotional impact. The title ‘Crossing the Red Sea’ is a biblical allusion to Moses as he escaped slavery to freedom which instantly gives the reader an idea of the intense emotional and physical journey Skrzynecki is embarking on. “To watch a sunset they would never see again” is symbolic as it shows the immigrants have left the past and their old life behind them.

This therefore shows that the journey the immigrants are on will be an emotional one as they have left many past memories and the life they knew for a strange and unknown home and life. On this extensive journey it allowed for an emotional journey to take part between immigrants, shown by the metaphor “silence fell from it’s shackles” showing readers that they were finally able to talk about their past experiences and emotions, which allowed for emotional release. The lengthy journey also allowed for Skrzynecki to allude back to his past life remembering both good and bad memories. I remember a field of red poppies” is a pleasant allusion that Skrzynecki had about his past life but is then juxtaposed by “Blood leaves similar dark stains”.

The juxtaposed quotes shows the emotional impact his past life as had on him, as he remembers the happy memories he quickly replaces them for memories of lives and blood that has been lost. This emphasises that even though you can leave the past

behind you, past events and memories can still be the cause of an emotional journey that must be overcome, as emotions can also be an obstacle that has to be faced on a physical journey. The equator still to be crossed” shows that the immigrants have a long way to go and still have many obstacles to face including their emotions. Crossing the Red Sea therefore shows that a physical journey can be epic and momentous in both literal distance and process but also with relation to emotional change that inevitably accompanies such a situation/event. My related text ‘A Desert Odyssey’ is a feature article found in the Pink Ribbon Magazine, composed by Sue Williams.

A Desert Odyssey’ is an article about a woman named Paula Constant who set out with three camels and a guide to walk through Europe to North Africa and then across the Sahara Desert. The title page shows Paula in brightly coloured cultural clothes, happy facial expressions and with no man made objects therefore showing her journey is about self discovery which would include an emotional journey as well as a physical journey. The word ‘Odyssey’ is emphasised in large, bold, black writing. Odyssey’ is also a classical allusion for Homers Odyssey, an epic journey which includes many hardships and detours, this therefore shows readers the type of physical and emotional journey Paula is enduring. In May 2005 Paula was faced by a large emotional impact while travelling on her journey, when she found out her mother was diagnosed with cancer.

This emotional obstacle stopped Paula’s journey as she travelled to Australia to visit her mother. However this emotional obstacle

also changed the meaning of Paula’s journey as she decided to use the work across the Sahara to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation of Australia.This therefore shows that emotional impacts that occur on physical journeys can change the nature and direction that a physical journey may undertake. Listing shows the many obstacles Paula faced on her journey, “had to stop for nearly one month, mother was diagnosed with cancer and husband Gary had enough of both their journey and marriage”. Listing creates emphasis on the obstacles and emotional challenges Paula faced on her journey, however “while it was the worst of times, it was also ina funny way, the best” as Paula describes her extensive journey.Paula’s comment of her physical journey therefore shows that even though obstacles and detours that may also be emotional occur it can be a catalyst for a change in both your physical journey and life in general.

Paula’s happy facial expressions and colourful clothing suggest that even though she went through all these emotional challenges, she is pleased that her journey is now significant for helping others challenged with breast cancer and shows she has no regrets for embarking on her physical journey across the Sahara. A Desert Odyssey’ shows that emotional challenges occur on physical journeys which can change your perspective and direction on your journey in a positive way, therefore negative events that occur can be a catalyst for many positive and beneficial changes. ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost is a poem that depicts a mans journey throughout his life and shows that physical journeys can include choices and decision. ‘The Road Not

Taken’ shows the emotional impact that can occur when choices are available and a decision must be made on a physical journey.Although ‘A Desert Odyssey’ showed that emotional obstacles and detours may be beneficial to your journey, ‘The Road Not Taken’ shows that your physical journey may not always bring the positive expected outcomes you hope for and therefore an emotional impact occurs. Imagery of the “yellow wood” and the traveller standing before a diverged path permit’s the reader to imagine the scene the poem takes place in, resulting in an enhanced understanding of the theme.

The metaphor “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” is a metaphor for two choices he has been confronted with in life.It is also symbolic as it shows choices are brought up in physical journeys and decisions must be made. “Had worn them really about the same” shows that the choices he was confronted with were hard to decide as both seemed just as good as each other, yet he had to decide on either one road or the other. “Looked down as far as i could to where it bent” is symbolic to show Frost’s uncertainty on taking a path in life that he didn’t know where it would take him. The tone of the poem is quite depressive and gloomy showing an emotional impact of the physical journey the traveller is on, shown by words such as “sorry” and “sigh”.

Doubt and regret is also shown by the title “The Road Not Taken” adding to the tone of the poem and showing ane motional impact can be made when having to make a decision in life. “I doubted

if i should ever come back” shows the reader that when decisions are made it is unlikely to turn back and take back the decision you have made. Therefore the decision you have made and the emotional impact that is caused by that decision must be dealt with and overcome because there is no way of taking back the decision made. I shall be telling this with a sigh” shows the reader he is disappointed with his decision but however has hope that the decision will eventually have “made all the difference”. The disappointment Frost shows the emotive impact the decision had on him as he wishes he could turn back and change his decision he comes to terms that it is not possible and hopes that his decision will eventually make a difference.

The poem shows readers that the emotional impact of decisions made can become an obstacle that has to be overcome when the unexpected outcome/destination occurs from the decision made.Although physical journeys are about he transition from one place to another, they also contain inner journeys as well, either by an emotional journey creating a physical journey, a physical journey allowing for emotional journey/release or a physical journey containing emotional detours which change perspective and direction of the physical journey. The texts by Skrzynecki, Robert Frost and Sue Williams all prove that physical journeys include emotional and spiritual journeys.

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