Belonging presupposes inclusion and an acceptance of self, satisfying a yearning to be something larger than ourselves. The subjective nature of belonging, however, suggest it is often far more ambiguous and complex. Belonging as a potentially positive force is recognised in the poet’s representation of his father’s connection to his Polis past. The metaphor ‘where his father kept pace only with the Joneses of his minds making’, coupled with the simile, ‘loved his garden like an only child’, captures his father’s immersion in Polish culture and his indifference OR more likely his fathers pretermit to the world around, suggestive of a deep emotive attachment to his garden, which serves as a nexus of his agrarian heritage and ataration or stoic indifference to new cultures. This sense of contentment finds resolution in the tranquillity that shapes his fathers connection to his past, evident in the gentle meandering and lyrical emotive enjambment where the poet describes his father as he ‘sits out the evening with his dog...happy as I have never been’, suggesting that a profound sense of belonging contributes to a positive sense personal identity. Paradoxically, however, Felik’s immersion into his Polish heritage inhibits his capacity to assimilate and contributes to an emotional and psychological rift between father and son. ’Did your father ever attempt to learn English?’, this separation is reinforced through the use of direct, rhetorical question that is seemingly a personal attack, combined with the metaphor ‘dancing-bear grunts’ describing the man who opened the personal onslaught on feliks, indicative of a lack of empathy, as well as, hostility between Feliks and his immediate culture, suggesting that belonging contributes to a negative sense of personal identity. ‘Pegging my tents further and further south of Hadrian’s wall’, this infused combination of metaphor and historical allusion, evokes a sense that his inability to comprehend, as...
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