An individual’s sense of belonging is shaped by their own identity.

Humans are seen as highly social creatures and their own identity is a major feature in their well being and sense of belonging. An individual’s identity is characterised by aspects such as their values, customs and heritage which either enriches or limits their sense of belonging. An individual may also shape their own identity in order to satisfy the universal human desire to belong. However it is also true to state that external factors alter a person’s identity as well as their sense of belonging. These concepts are expressed in the poem, “Feliks Skrzynecki” by Peter Skrzynecki.

The poem “Feliks Skrzynecki” presents the poet’s father’s alienation within Australian society as a result of his predominantly Polish identity. This is contrasted with Peter’s diminished connection to polish culture and the affiliation to Australian Culture. Twice the poet presents the garden as the father’s personal world where “he swept its path/ Ten times around the world”. The use of hyperbole adds to the definitive boundary between Australian and Polish culture as defined by Feliks while also highlights that Feliks never felt he had a place in Australian culture. Hence the poet uses the Australian idiom of “keeping pace only with the Joneses” where the father is able to ignore the influence of the outside world while maintaining a strong polish identity. In the second last stanza the poet makes reference to Feliks happiness, “happy as I have never been”, which is a result of the father’ connection to his garden. Likewise in the second stanza the notion of maintaining a polish identity and a sense of connection to Feliks’ past is illustrated by the poet in “from the soil he turned/ And the tobacco he rolled.” However to the poet it was the traditions when Feliks’ “Polish friends” met that stood out and allowed Feliks to be more at home in Australia. “Feliks Skrzynecki/ That formal address/ That I never got...