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IMMIGRANT CHRONICLE - CROSSING THE RED SEA

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by

Nisrene Kourouche

on 28 February 2014

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Transcript of IMMIGRANT CHRONICLE - CROSSING THE RED SEA

CROSSING THE
RED
SEA
'IMMIGRANT CHRONICLE'

Mr. Peter Skrzynecki
10 Mary Street,
Regents Park

1949

FROM POLAND TO AUSTRALIA VIA THE RED SEA
WELCOME TO YOUR NEW CHANCE AT LIFE!
BE PREPARED FOR A LIFE CHANGING JOURNEY!
designed by Péter Puklus for Prezi
Poem
Many slept on deck
Because of the day's heat
Or to watch a sunset
They would never see again
Stretched out on blankets and pillows
Against cabins and rails:
Shirtless, in shorts, barefooted,
Themselves a landscape
Of milk-white flesh
On a scoured and polished deck.
Voices left their caves
And silence fell from its shackles
Memories strayed
From behind sunken eyes
To look for shorelines
Peaks of mountains and green rivers
That shared their secrets
With storms and exiles
Patches and shreds
Of dialogue
Hung from fingertips
And unshaven faces
Offering themselves
As a respite From the interruption
Of passing waves.

"I remember a filed
Of red poppies, once behind the forest
When the full moon rose."

"Blood Leaves similar dark stains
When it Runs for a long time
On stones or Rusted iron"

(And the sea's breath
Touched the eyes
Of another Lazarus
Who was saying a prayer
In thanksgiving
For miracles)
All night
The kindness
of the sea continued -
Breaking into
Walled-up griefs
That men had sworn
Would never be disclosed.
Accepting outflung denunciations
With a calmness
That brought a reminder
of people listening to requiems,
Pine tress whispering
Against a stone wall in the breeze;
Or a trembling voice
That sang at the rails
When the ship first sailed
From the sorrow
Of northern wars.
Daybreak took away
The magic of dreams,
Fragments of apparitions
That became
More tangible than words
Echoes and reflections
Of the trust
That men had bartered
For silence.

Had we talked
Of death
Perhaps something
More then time
Would have been lost.


1949, and the war
Now four years dead-
Neither master nor slaves
As we crossed a sea
And looked at red banners
That Time was hoisting
In mock salute
But the gestures
Of darkness and starlight
Kept our minds
Away from the finalities
Of surrender -
As they beckoned towards
A blood-rimmed horizon
Beyond whose waters
The Equator
Was still to be crossed.
Summary:
Skrzynecki traces a physical as well as a shared emotional journey in which migrants sail through the Red Sea. In fact, through the title of the poem, Skrzynecki biblically alludes to Moses leading the Jews out of tyranny in Egypt to the promised land of Canaan, just as the Europeans abandoned their homes in war-torn Europe to partake a voyage across the red sea to the new promised land of Australia, in a hope of a brighter future at the end of their journey.
The red sea is about how the sun sets over the water lighting the water red. Part 1 introduces the theme of exile. Part 2 introduces the theme of time and how they were part of the government work foce. The red banner symbolises clouds of sunset and a mock-solute is a non-military salute. Part three shows the red poppy as being the symbol of a fallen soul. The importance of red comes from the polish colours red and white. Red symbolises blood and white symbolises after life. Part 4 has the theme of night and comfort. Part 5 is the next morning, it shows the prospect of dreaming. The last stanza is saying never give up hope and don't give in. The colour red in this poem is the sacrifice of future as red colour illuminates the horizon.

Imagery of poverty
They are of European decent -
don't see the sun that often
Imagery of past suffering
and misery
Metaphor
Metaphor
Symbolism of life
Enjambment shows progress of the journey
Personification
Context
Reference to Communism
of Europe
Symbolism of red
Biblical allusion
Lazarus
Jesus arrives in Bethany, he finds that Lazarus is dead and has already been in his tomb for four days. He meets first with Martha and Mary in turn. Martha laments that Jesus did not arrive soon enough to heal her brother and Jesus replies with the well-known statement, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die".[12] The narrator here gives the famous simple phrase, "Jesus wept".[13]

In the presence of a crowd of Jewish mourners, Jesus comes to the tomb. Over the objections of Martha, Jesus has them roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb and says a prayer. He then calls Lazarus to come out and Lazarus does so, still wrapped in his grave-cloths. The lesson is that perseverance through a difficult time is necessary.

Personification of the sea
Fear
Reminder of the dead
Personification of whispering trees - Trees of Europe
Indicates the toll of the journey
Talking of fond memories
The heat of the journey is emphasised
Mood of hope
It was a calm journey
Paradox - singing because they are leaving their miseries behind
Full transcript