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10 Mary Street Essay

977 words - 4 pages

How does Peter Skrzynecki use language and structural techniques to communicate the sense of belonging in ’10 Mary Street’ (700 words plus)

Through various language and structural techniques, poet Peter Skrzynecki in his poem‘10 Mary Street’ explores the idea of acceptance in the home through place. Despite Skrzynecki’s previous poems, ’10 Mary Street’ is centred on positive reminiscence of the family home and the relationships which he forged within it. This sense of belonging through location is challenged through industrialisation successively in the poem, arousing negative emotions such as anxiety.

The poem ’10 Mary Street’ captures the typical idea of family life through concepts ...view middle of the document...

The poet mentions various plants which are of European descent such as roses, camellias, potatoes and sweet corn. These various plants insinuate the idea that the Skrzynecki family hopes to keep their European culture, more specifically Polish culture close to home through planting them in the family garden. This too plays on the cultural idea that the family will provide for itself. While the poet’s parents worked, he attended St. Patricks College, a school, we know from previous poems, he despised. Upon arrival at home after school the poet would ‘ravage the backyard garden/ like a hungry bird’ this expresses the poet’s contentment with life through the practice of poetic techniques, more accurately, similes. The fact his parents ‘tended roses and camellias’ is an affectionate tone, leading to the idea of kinship through the next line ‘like adopted children’. Stability is created through the images of gardening Skrzynecki creates to depict a positive aspect of his home life.

It is in the third stanza the poet indicates negativity through the idea of the whole block being ‘gazetted for industry’. Despite this negative tone, the poet continues to imply the importance his ‘china-blue’ coated house has on his family life and their sense of belonging to each other and place. The poet uses personification in the line ‘the house stands’ to reinforce the significance the house has for him. He attempts to lighten the mood through subtle humour, although when the concept of industrialisation is introduced, it is made clear to the audience that he is evidently concerned about the well-being of his house which holds so many flourishing memories.

The idea of preservation of culture and family security is further developed in the fourth stanza. The repetition of the lines ‘for nineteen years’ continuing onto the next line ‘we lived together – ‘ implies the time spent was in a secure enriching environment. Culture as a catalyst for belonging is...

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