Understanding Nourishes Belonging, A Lack Of Understanding Prevents It

1426 words - 6 pages


Understanding nourishes belonging, a lack of understanding prevents it

To ensure that we have a healthy society it is important that we have knowledge about each other, a sense of who we are and who our community is and this will lead to a greater understanding. With such understanding the connections, relationships and idea of acceptance within a community is going to be strengthened. Indeed, understanding nourishes belonging. A lack of understanding will prevent it. This is clearly my experience in reading the poems of Immigrant Chronicle Peter Skryznecki, an SMH feature article titled "I too, have a dream" and "8 Mile", a film directed by Curtis Hanson. All 3 of these texts explore the importance of understanding in nourishing a sense of belonging.

The idea the knowledge, empathy and therefore, understanding will nourish a sense of belonging is clearly explored in immigrant chronicle. All of the poems in this collection explore the experiences of his family who at times were not under understood and this leads to their feelings of alienation, dislocation and not belonging.

This idea of knowing is central to nourish belonging is explored through Skrzynecki's poem 10 Mary st. This poem is full of love and nurturing and a palpable sense of belonging. It is clear the family understood each other and Skrzynecki shared this with us, the reader and thus we then develop a greater insight, knowledge and understanding of life for migrants in Australia.

There is a sense that the house of 10 Mary st has nourished the family during their occupation of it - providing safety and security and a place to belong evident in the metaphor "citizens of the soil / that was feeding us" which shows a physical sense of understanding through a communal connection to the land.
The poem then shift as Feliks seems to maintain his sense of belonging by doing exactly what he did in Poland and holding onto his old ways, not giving way to the pressure of change through the personas' use of slang language "and smoked a dozen puffing billies".

The case varies, however, for Peter himself in the poem as he is torn between the cultures of his parent's undying polish context and the struggle to belong in Australian culture with neither lives being in any way meaningful to him through a lack of understanding "kept pre-war Europe alive" which highlights this confusion.

In 10 Mary st, the poet expresses the house as both a physical and psychological place to belong. It signifies the families struggle to search for security, identity, safety and a place to connect emotionally to as refuge from their environment. This is similarly present in the poem `Feliks Skrzynecki' as he finds himself adopting his garden as a place that understands him, connecting to his former home in Poland.

In the second poem of the collection, Feliks Skrzynecki, Peter Skrzynecki conveys the conflict between his...

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