10 Mary Street
The poem is about Skrzynecki’s relationship with his house where he spent his childhood at 10 Mary Street, Regents Park. This poem chronicles the day-to-day lives of the Skryznecki family in their new country. * Throughout the poem, the tone is one of empowerment and progress. Their home is a sanctuary, a safety net and protector for thee immigrants in an uncertain world. The house symbolizes the family unit’s connection during this ‘adaption’ process, which presents a positive view of family belonging. There is an atmosphere of live and joy at the home with nurturing parents. The fast paced materialism of the new country is contrasted with the joy in nature and relationship so much for the Skrzynecki’s household. * He appreciates the experience as happy and values it as a key part of his childhood. * All of this is captured in the effective imagery and symbolism. * The memories are richly presented told in snippets of what was done, talked about, eaten, drunk and shared.
Growing up in this house is remembered fondly, marked by stability, routine and familiarity. * In some ways, the poem becomes representational of the post-war Australian immigrant experience – these post-war families kept their memories of their ‘pre-war Europe alive’ through their words, speech and cultural customs. They are then to adapt and adjust to their adoptive Australian home. * As these immigrants adapt to the new changes in their new home, they adapt to new challenges – keeping both their birth culture alive. However, the family must leave their home and there is a sense of sadness – their comfortableness of broken. * There is gradual development in the Skrzynecki’s ability to assimilate into the Australia culture and there is less of a need the house of protection – in this way the poem shows that belonging is a changing concept. * Think – what does this poem say about the causes and consequences of belonging?
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