Summary of First Neighbours
First Neighbours is a poem written by Patricia Kathleen Page (Pseudonym – Judith Cape). In this poem, Page has conveyed the sense of alienation of a resident in a new location. She was named the best Canadian poet and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Her native land is England, hence her speech differs greatly from that of the Canadians. She expresses her belief that all humans are equal and have no differences, yet the people of Canada believe she is unique due to the shape of her ear. She claims that the girl mocked her for having burned bread. In comparison to other nations, the motherland is always secure.
The speaker of the poem The First Neighbours describes the cultural interactions she/he was forced to face and adjust to. Finally, the speaker finds himself in an unclear situation and is torn between returning to his original state and surrendering to culture and unpredictability. All of the experiences suggest to the speaker that s/he “go back to where s/he came from.”
The immigrants in Canada had to deal with the crises of rootlessness and the search for identity, but they had memorable recollections of and affinities with their native nation’s culture, as well as a passionate desire to foster that cultural ethos in their new country.
The poet expresses that she has become a minor and an invalid. Her remarks are deplorable. Her gestures are both stupid and sick. In the eyes of her neighbours, she has devolved into a minor being. Her mental state is discussed in the next stanza. And she claims that she has finally toughened like a “chapped tarpaulin” She began to negotiate that whatever she said had weird meanings to others and vice versa. She wishes to connect with the others. She lowered herself to the level in order to connect with them.
In the next stanza, she explores mindscape through landscape, claiming that nothing is constant and everything is erratic. The illusions of the dark forest are brought to life.The forest is compared to the inner mind in this context. She wishes to maintain contact with them. She becomes terrified and then claims that clumsiness and fear are unavoidable. Finally, she declares that some things must be endured, and that prediction is impossible for forever.As a result, she closes her poetry.