This poem is nostalgic and refers to the persona’s nineteen years spent in his parent’s house. They found a place to settle and put in roots for the foundation of a new life, of peace and ritual. It is a descriptive poem that includes the working class environment and a sense of community with other immigrants. The persona’s parents are presented as house proud, hard- working people who maintain their dignity in their new environment. “10 Mary Street’ deals with immigrants claiming identity and having to losing it again. Title: Poem is about a place of significance – place, culture, ritual, community and stability.
First stanza: Tone of affection is demonstrated through description of minor aspects of the house – systematic routine to emphasis belonging. Dynamic relationship between the house and people. Lines one and two; the persona begins with the establishment of a time-frame which should give a sense of belonging to this address – tone of the title is more factual than emotive – does not call it ‘My Home’; “For nineteen years we departed, Each morning shut the house, Like a well-oiled lock ” The use of first person plural demonstrates belonging – ‘We departed”. Over that still too narrow bridge “. This line shows that the persona has revisited place of residence; suggests sense of belonging. Stanza two: “Back at 5 p. M. , From the polite hum-drum precise observation suggests thorough imagery. “Hum-drum” -? ordinary things of life. Parents jobs – their life is about their work, their identity is defined by their home. “My parents watered plants – grew potatoes and rows of sweet corn ” This demonstrates the parent’s belief that the family will provide for them radiation carried over from Europe. Like adopted children” – simile holds importance, adopted children; chosen to belong. Not the natural environment, still shown affection. “l swear I’d stay off strawberries and peas forever. ” Humorous observations – hyperbole, subtle, affectionate tone. Dramatic structure – tells a story. Stanza three: Present tense suggests the house the persona grew up in for nineteen years is still there – “The house stands in its china -? blue coat – “sense of belonging is not altered by the house coming down. “With paint guaranteed for another en years” – use of subtle humor; same color as his parents painted it.
The use of the technique of listing is not used in the same way as it usually is; the brackets suggest official listing (losing sense of identity, impersonal). It also shows a physical change to the land, alienation -? minimal sense of regret. Stanza four: Repetition of “For nineteen years” – reinforce sense of belonging to the residence and family. Polish kielbasa in italics – highlights differences between destination and tradition; polish terminology. Concrete images act s a list of experiences – vivid depiction of his past and what it means to him in the present.
More references are made; contrast of distinctive qualities; “A dozen Puffing Bellies. ” Stanza five: “Naturalized more than a decade ago . – foreign convention. They became an Australian citizen. “We became citizens of the soil, that was feeding us Nurturing, retaining aspects of their own culture through the land. Presents the persona with an identity with all its complexity. “Inheritors of a key, that will open no house, when this one is pulled down. ” – the recognition that an era is coming to an end.