Immigrant Chronicle

November 13, 2017 General Studies

Write a paragraph about ‘St Patrick’s College’ and belonging say what it says about belonging and the language feature used The poem ‘St Patrick’s College’ by Peter Skrzynecki describes his school years at the Catholic college in Edgar Street Strathfield. This is an important part of Peter Skrzynecki’s life, a time when he was trying to fit in, to assimilate, to belong. Double use of the possessive in the first line ‘impressed by the uniforms of her employer’s sons mother enrolled me at St Pat’s’ indicates his mother’s hopes and ambitions.

As an immigrant mother she is trying to ensure her only child’s future inclusion in social hierarchy of their new country. However, this sentence also suggests that these are perhaps not the best ways of deciding on a school which would be suitable for Peter trying to fit in. Then in the lines ‘our lady watched/with outstretched arms/her face overshadowed by clouds’, the poet conveys that he didn’t feel included. Our lady’ represents the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, and symbolizes the warmth and protection offered by all mothers as they embrace their children, However here, the negative connotation of ‘overshadowed by clouds’ reinforces his feelings of not really belonging at this religious institution. This metaphor is reinforced in the last stanza where the lady still watches over him ‘unchanged by eight years of weather’. Even after 8 years of attendance, the poet still does not really belong.

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Then the use of colloquial language and connotation of shared friendship ‘played chasings up and down the station’s ten ramps’ shows Peter’s young and that he is fitting into some extent but he is still unsure about where he belongs. He doesn’t feel he is part of the school. Repetition of eight years, metaphor and emotive language ‘for eight years I carried the blue, black and gold/I’d been privileged to wear’ are used in the forth stanza to emphasizes the length of time he spent at the school and the benefits he gained there.

Even though he did the same things as any student does at school and did fit into St Patrick’s in some ways, he is still unsure about where he belongs. In the last stanza, negative words and tone of uncertainty are used to show Peter Skrzynecki’s time at St Patrick’s is at an end and there are some things he still can’t do, but he will never have chance to finish those things just like he will never completely belong.


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