Tim Winton once said “Our Culture is obsessed about belonging, but people haven’t grasped the notion that you have to earn belonging, to earn some kind of comfort and ease of familiarity with yourself’’. Peter Skrzynecki’s poems Feliks Skrzynecki, St Patricks college and 10 Mary Street reflect this idea through many different ways and in many different contexts such as family, school, home, culture and land.
To belong is to feel as though you are a part of something, where you connect with other people, and where you feel a sense of security. Belonging can be individually, within a group, community, society, or the larger world. This sense of belonging can be earned through our family, friends, likes and dislikes, backgrounds and opinions. Peter Skrzynecki uses various language and visual techniques throughout his poems to portray the idea that you have to earn belonging.
Two texts that are related to Peter Skrzyneckis peoms are the film ‘Freedom Writers’ and Kevin Rudd’s sorry speech to the Aboriginal people of Australia. Feliks Skrzynecki explores the relationship between the poet and his father, and their contrasting experiences of belonging to a new land. Techniques: The use of first person narration throughout the poem shows us that the poem is actually about a personal feeling of belonging. It also helps to show the connection that exists between Feliks and Peter.
The first line of the poem is “My gentle father”. Already we are shown the sense of belonging through the words “My” and “father”. This relates to a common emotion that the audience can feel through the belongingness in a family or relationship. In the last stanza we hear the quote “I forgot my first Polish word”. This quote shows the loss of belonging to his original country and its culture. The loss of culture represented in this quote can be linked to the loss of culture that the Aboriginal people involved in the stolen generation.