Peter Skrzynecki’s poem “10 Mary Street”, explores various aspects of belonging to a place as well as to family.
A reoccurring theme of time is present throughout the poem, 10 Mary Street. This is shown through the constant repetition of the line “For nineteen years”. The composer purposely establishes a strong sense of time that conveys routine and steadiness in his life. Throughout the poem the responders can perceive a strong emphasis of security in Peter’s family, who were at the time living happily and had a strong connection to their home for a long time.
This also reinforces that the family have a strong sense of belonging, which emphasizes their togetherness and cohesion. The use of the inclusive pronoun further reinforces the persona’s feelings of acceptance and his experiences work in cohesion with the simile, “Each morning, shut the house like a well-oiled lock” which effectively conveys to the audience the strong sense of belonging which further reinforces the strong connection each family member has which emphasizes their cohesion.Also the use of enjambment of “each morning” symbolizes a sense of routine, which further conveys to the responders how the family worked efficiently and together. The positive visual imagery of “My parents watered plants – grew potatoes and rows of sweet corn: tended roses and camellias like adopted children” further supports the feelings of warmth, care and kinship that the family has towards each other. The possessive pronoun of “We” emphasizes his seep sense of acceptance, endearment, honor that he has towards his parents, which allows him to connect and feel as if he belongs.The simile “Like adopted children” conveys to the audience the care the family has for their possessions; the care and love the family has towards their garden allow Peter to feel a sense of togetherness and cohesion within his family.
Also, in the poem, Skrzynecki introduces the motif of the key to symbolize the composer’s close relationship with his family and their home. In the opening stanza, the family has a constant sense of routine as he makes reference to how he “hid they key under a rusty bucket’, which suggests images of security and protection, again reinforcing the families close connection and relationship with each other.In the final stanza we again receive a sense of belonging as “inheritors of a key that’ll open no house when this one is pulled down”, which conveys the ironic image that although the family became citizens of Australia, that feeling of belonging will never replace the connection and love they got at their home, with both each other and through their culture. This final symbol concludes the poem as it shows to the audience the families togetherness and cohesion, which they eventually found.