This account of Faludy's years as a political prisoner in Hungary was commissioned by Quadrant editor James McAuley who asked the poet 'for an article on poetry produced in concentration camps in Hungary: how written, how transmitted and what it meant to others' (p.47).
In recounting his habit of conjuring pictures from the cracks and textures on his cell walls, Faludy describes the genesis of his poem 'Western Australia' in these words: 'On the prison walls, those pictures of my childhood were reborn. I discovered sketches representing friends of yore, scenes from my life and from history. Once on a morning, I discovered a black swan and immediately remembered the stamp I had seen long ago when I collected stamps as a child. I immediately fancied covered wagons, lakes and oxen, and remembered stories I heard from Australian soldiers I met when I was with the US Army in the Pacific. I pondered two days and then wrote a poem on Australia in the last century' (p.50).