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St Patrick's College Poem analysis

This prezi explores Peter Skrzynecki's poem, St Patrick's college

Gabriella Hespe-Poulos

on 18 February 2013

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Transcript of St Patrick's College Poem analysis

St Patrick's College Impressed by the uniforms
Of her employer’s sons,
Mother enrolled me at St Pat’s
With never a thought
To fees and expenses – wanting only
“what was best”. From the roof
Of the secondary school block
Our Lady watched
With outstretched arms,
Her face overshadowed by clouds.
Mother crossed herself
As she left me at the office –
Said a prayer
For my future intentions.
Under the principal’s window
I stuck pine needles
Into the motto
On my breast:
Luceat Lux Vestra
I thought was a brand of soap. For eight years
I walked Strathfield’s paths and streets,
Played chasings up and down
The station’s ten ramps –
Caught the 414 bus
Like a foreign tourist,
Uncertain of my destination
Every time I got off. For eight years
I carried the blue, black and gold
I’d been privileged to wear:
Learnt my conjugations
And Christian decorums for homework,
Was never too bright at science
But good at spelling;
Could say The Lord’s Prayer
In Latin, all in one breath. My last day there
Mass was offered up
For our departing intentions,
Our Lady still watching
Above, unchanged by eight years’ weather.
With closed eyes
I fervently counted
The seventy-eight pages
Of my Venite Adoremus,
Saw equations I never understood
Rubbed off the blackboard,
Voices at bus stops, litanies and hymns
Taking the right-hand turn
Out of Edgar Street for good;
Prayed that Mother would someday be pleased
With what she’d got for her money –
That the darkness around me
Wasn’t “for the best”
Before I let my light shine. Symbloic- uniforms indicate a sense of unity; the school will give Peter opportunity and status quotation marks suggest that this was someone else's idea of the 'best'- his mother wants him to belong based on society's standards symbolic: the Virgin Mary welcoming the students to the school- supposed to be a positive image of belonging symbolic of the 'darkness' and disconnection Skrzynecki feels towards his schooling symbolic- Skrzynecki doesn't understand the emblem, it doesn't give him a sense of inclusion Latin: 'Let you Light shine'- because he doesn't understand suggests he doesn't share the school's ethos repetition indicates the experience was lengthy, emphasises his lack of belonging over a period of time simile indicates his lack of connection, comfort or familiarity; he is insecure and lost repetition highlights the fact that though a long time student he did not 'fit in' school learning is given as a 'list' of disconnected things- was it a good, thorough education? repetition of the image of 'Our Lady' as remote and distant as she was on the first day; unaffected by time- also suggests his experience hasn't changed closed eyes symbolic of a lack of knowledge, wisdom, experience. Suggests fear and loneliness adverb 'never' indicates he did not ever feel connected to his learning or the school word choice: disembodied 'voices' suggests he doesn't have friends contrast between light and dark 'darkness'; 'light' indicates the school offered him no connection, positive outcomes- did not give him a sense of belonging personal pronoun 'I' indicates isolation External appearances of belonging don't necessarily mean you 'feel' included;

Sometimes it is impossible to establish a sense of belonging

Belonging involves inclusion and being interested- you have to cultivate a sense of belonging

Just because you have experienced something for a long period doesn't mean you feel anymore connected to it
Full transcript