Peter Skryz

St Patricks College
  2. Describe the tone of the persona in the first 2 verses
The tone to the whole poem, kind of suggests disconnection and isolation of the persona’s surroundings – no emotional attachment. “Impressed by the uniforms, of her employer’s sons,” the persona’s mother is employed by someone else, working as a migrant employee; “good enough for them, it’s good enough for me” attitude.
  3. What effect is created by the personification of the statue in verse 2?
Personification is used when describing the statue of Mary on the roof of the school   “Our lady watched with outstretched arms, her face overshadowed by clouds.” This can be perceived as a sign of fate, as the boy can receive the sign as though he isn’t going to have the most exciting time at St Patrick’s College( he can already sense the feeling of not belonging).
  4. What does the Latin motto mean? Explain the poets attitude to the school’s catholic heritage, compared to his mother’s
There is a sense of ignorance of the persona. This was shown in the closing line of this stanza; “Luceat Lux Vestra, I thought it was a brand of soap.” The persona is shown to have a lack of understanding of the school’s crest/motto which once again shows a lack of belonging. "Luceat lux vestra" translated from Latin means, "let your light shine".   The motto gives off the idea that the children should “ go out into the world and achieve”.
Stanza 4 and 4 reveal the poet’s attitude to the school and his education there. He feels that he was privileged to have gone to the school in the end. He learned manners( “decorums”) and academic content (“Conjugations”etc). The persona failed to understand the significance of spiritual or complex concepts like the Lord’s prayer- he simply memorised things. He seems detached from the school’s ethos- unlike his mother, who was committed to it.
  5. Why does he compare himself to a “foreign tourist” on the bus?
The lines, “The station’s ten ramps –Caught...