Immigrant Chronicle Poem Analysis Essay

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Area of Study: ‘Belonging’ Immigrant Chronicle by Peter Skrzynecki Teacher Resource Pack Emily Bosco TABLE OF CONTENTS ‘Belonging’: Theoretical Underpinnings Peter Skrzynecki and Immigrant Chronicle Poetry Analysis Unit of Work Sample Assessment Tasks Specimen HSC Examination Questions Suggested Related Material 4 9 10 33 49 54 56 10 Mary Street This poem is about the notion of belonging to place. This sense of belonging to place, in particular the idea of belonging to the family home, is indicated in the title of the poem. In reading the title we assume the address “10 Mary Street” is a place of significance and, given the innocence and virtue the name “Mary” evokes, it lures us…show more content…
In this poem, belonging to place is the focus. Given that the poet and his family spent ‘nineteen years’ living in the same house in the same street in the same suburb, we assume that if he belongs anywhere, it is here. However, the poem speaks of a false or constructed sense of belonging. The poet tells us in detail of the day-to-day routine – ‘each morning, shut the house/like a well-oiled lock/hid the key… back at 5p.m… my parents watered plants… tended roses and camellias/like adopted children’ – however, a feeling of emptiness pervades over this whole scene. It is ‘hum-drum’. This is contrasted with the 4th stanza, where the poet shows us that the family’s real sense of belonging is to their cultural heritage, which is part of their past; their personal history. Keeping ‘pre-war Europe alive’ is where they find a permanent sense of belonging. Ironically, despite their ‘nineteen years’ in the same place, they do not feel a genuine sense of belonging to it. In the Folk Museum This poem is about an alienating experience, which arises from the persona’s desire to belong to place by fostering a connection with cultural heritage. In the poem, the persona visits a folk museum in Armidale, NSW. As he finds the exhibitions in the museum unfamiliar to him (given his differing cultural background), he finds this to be a dark and confronting experience, which only serves to emphasise his position as an outsider. In this poem, the concepts of belonging are: Belonging to place Belonging to culture and heritage Belonging to the past/shared history Close Analysis of the

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