Summary of 10 Mary Street by Peter Skrzynecki

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Peter Skrzynecki is of Polish/Ukrainian background and was born in 1945, in Germany, shortly before the end of World War II. He emigrated to Australia in 1949 with his parents. Most of Skrzynecki’s poems are about his life and the change that he has experienced from moving to a different country. In 1951 the family moved to Sydney, to the working-class suburb of Regents Park, where a home had been purchased at 10 Mary Street. The poem “10 Mary Street” represents change as it shows the comparison between Skrzynecki’s life in Poland and his new life in Sydney and how he and his family have had to adapted to their new way of life and how the physical change of moving countries has changed them emotionally. Change is present in this poem as the poet uses the simile “Shut the house; like a well-oiled lock” to appreciate the order of daily ritual when departing in the morning. It indicates that the house is secure and protects the family. The simile “like adopted children” shows that the garden is not like any other garden to them.

The language techniques that Skrzynecki uses in this poem are used to great effect and create a level of connection between the reader and Skrzynecki’s and how his life was. Some of the techniques used are: Similies: A simile is a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another of a different kind, as an illustration or ornament, the effect that a simile has in a poem is that it paints a picture in our minds as a simile is a descriptive set of words e.g. “And smoked like a dozen Puffing Billies” Personification: A figure of speech that gives human qualities to abstract ideas, animals, and inanimate objects. It affects the reader by creating empathy, and allows the reader to associate with the poem and the message in it e.g. “In its china blue coat” Negative connotation: A word or phrase that has a negative or disliked association connected to it, most commonly due to social use or misconceptions of a word or its...
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