During my speech I will talk to you about belonging and how the themes are used in Peter Skrzynecki’s poems, Ancestors and 10 Mary St. The related text I have chosen is a poster with song lyrics on it. The poster is of the song ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin. I decided this text was appropriate because of the meanings in the lyrics. Peter Skrzynecki was born in Germany in 1945. He is of polish background and has immigrated to Australia with his parents at four years of age. Belonging can take shape in many different forms, whether it be positive or negative.
You could be a member of a group, have a personal relationship with somebody or even just feel connected to hold the feeling of belonging. Throughout Skrzynecki’s poems, he demonstrates a wide variety of his personal experiences of how he either felt that he belonged or felt alienated and excluded. In ancestors, for example, the persona conveys a feeling of ambivalence about belonging. He feels as if he is and will always be related to his ancestors, but is confused and uncertain about them, through his own personal depiction.
In stanza 1 he writes “Who are these shadows that hang over me in a dream? ” which shows that he knows little about them. Another quote – “What secretes do they whisper into the darkness? ” gives the idea that they might know more about him that he does them, giving him a feeling of disconnection from his familys past. If you might have noticed, at the beginning of most stanzas, Skrzynecki asks an un-answered question aimed at the past of his ancestors. Again this conveys his strong uncertainty about who his ancestors really are. 0 Mary St is unlike Skrzynecki’s other poems. It gives a more of a positive depiction of his own life. The poem captures the story of his familys life, living peacefully with love and happiness flowing through his family. The vivid imagery of the garden transports us to his childhood, where he ravaged the garden that his parents lovingly tended. The quote “Home from school earlier I’d ravage the back garden like a hungry bird” shows this. The simile ‘Like a hungry bird’ is used to describe Skrzynecki’s devouring of the straberries and peas in his backyard.
As the poem reaches the last stanza, the feeling of hapiness and belonging is disrupted by the thoughts of the inevitable of the house being torn down, or “Guzetted for industry”. He looks back at the 19 years he has spent in his home and is very upset to know that these are his last. The loss of his physical home reflects his on-going search for a spiritual home and thus his true identity. The final piece of text related to belonging is a poster of the song lyrics “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. On the poster, there is a picture of an old man holding a lamp and who seems to be at ease and relaxed.
The lyrics on the poster go for 9 lines. The quote “Our shadows taller than our soul” means that the people that the author is talking about have lost touch with their own spiritual beings. In other words, they feel displacement from themselves. Another quote “To be a rock and not to roll” relates to the previous quote in the way that it is re-inforcing the will of the author to not leave behind your spiritual conscience but to maintain that connection. To conclude, belonging is an essential part of everyones needs, without belnging, we would be deprived of what makes us feel happy and accepted. Thank you.