P.K. Page’s “Arras” is set in a strange dimension, filled with screaming peacocks and shadowy figures, where the persona seeks answers and meaning. However, Page had designed “Arras” to be an unknowable mystery. It is deliberately beyond human comprehension, without answers. Page uses the persona to show humanity’s desire to impose human meaning in everything. In imposing meaning where none exists, the persona only further alienates herself.
In The Permanent Tourists, P.K. Page explores the contradictory identity of those without identity. The very title, “The Permanent Tourists”, suggests the irony of their situation. As permanent tourists, they are in constant juxtaposition against the “foreign cities”, continually being relegated to the Other. Hence, their permanence stems from their transient and alien status as “tourists”. Their identity is non-identity. Such a quandary is at the crux of the poem, and Page seeks to explain the motivations and actions of the tourists.