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Ancestors - Peter Skrzynecki

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Mikaela Black

on 25 February 2013

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Transcript of Ancestors - Peter Skrzynecki

Behind them are
mountains, the sounds of a river,
a moonlit plain
of grasses and sand.

Why do they
never speak—how long
is their wait to be?

Why do you wake
as their faces become clearer—
your tongue dry
as caked mud?

From across the plain
where sand and grasses never stir
the wind tastes of blood. Symbolic Layer Ancestors Literal Layer In this poem Skrzynecki is dreaming. There are beardless, faceless men surrounding him, shoulder to shoulder. The faceless men become clearer as they move closer to him. The men whisper things to Skrzynecki but he is unable to hear what they to say. Their eyes never close. Behind the men are mountains, the sound of a river and a moonlit plain of grass and sand. As the faces become clearer Skrzynecki begins to wake up. In this poem it seems like Peter Skrzynecki is dreaming. This dream is about his ancestors and this dream may have been brought on by his polish background. Skrzynecki has a connection to his background but no knowledge about it. He may be confronted by his inability to connect fully with his Polish background and ancestors or he may find his ancestors confronting, this may be have been what brought on the dream. “Why do they never speak- how long is their wait to be?” This quote is from the poem ancestors, it relates to him overcoming fears with his culture. The men in his dream did not mean to frighten him. •Simile – “your tongue dry as caked mud”
•Metaphor “the wind tastes of blood.”
•Rhetorical Question
o“Who are these shadows…. Standing shoulder to shoulder”
o“Why do their eyes never close?”
o“What secrets…. Darkness?”
o“Why do their eyes never close?”
o“Where do the…. Circle around you?”
o“To what star do their footprints lead?”
o“Why do they never speak?”
o“How long is their wait to be?”
o“Why do you wake as their faces become clearer?”
o“Your tongue dry as caked mud?”
Who are these shadows
that hang over you in a dream—
the bearded, faceless men
standing shoulder to shoulder?

What secrets
do they whisper into the darkness—
why do their eyes
never close?

Where do they point to
from the circle around you—
to what star
do their footprints lead? Techniques Ancestors
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