Genetics

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  • Genetics
    • Stanza 1
      • the phrase 'fathers in my fingers' uses the fricative 'f' sound to suggest the father was route of the split
      • the caesura suggests the separation of the mother and father
      • the repetition of 'my' suggests the narrator is trying to take ownership of their parents and bring them back
      • the narrator feels very in control - the speak using the imperative and 'they lift them up' and not vice versa
        • this shows it is the child who wants the parents back together not the parents
    • title
      • there three syllabels in the word suggesting a family unit of three
      • the title is brief and suggests the lack of the narrator being able to find an identity
    • Stanza 2
      • there is a semantic field of negativity through words such as 'repelled' and 'separate' - which is repeated showing how distant the parents are
      • the phrase 'may sleep with other lovers' - uses a modal verb which suggests the child doesn't want this to be the case
      • for the child genetics is the only thing that holds their parents together so they define themselves by this - seen in the title
    • Stanza 3
      • suggests everything is lost to the child only the wreckage of a 'quarry' is left
      • the fact that they 'quarry for their image' suggests they are searching for the perfect, idealised thing they once had
      • the child uses the 'hands' or 'genetics' as their one factual thing they can hold onto while emotions go astray they still have science of their 'hands'
    • Stanza 4
      • they linking to the idea of marriage and this what holds them together - the idea of their parents together - married in church
      • this mirrors a childhood game suggesting the narrator longs for the childhood as this is when their parents were together and they were last happy
      • repetition of 'my fathers by my fingers... mother... palms' suggests they are reassuring themselves and holding themselves together through these facts
    • Stanza 5
      • there is a likeness between the words 'psalms' and 'palms' suggesting both the genetics and the religious process of marriage are what hold the child together
      • they have reverted to a childlike state of innocence 're-enact their wedding' as children often play 'weddings'
      • the repetition of hands and palms throughout the poem gives it a childlike feel and shows how the narrator is naïve and childlike in their want to bring their parents together
    • Stanza 6
      • view point changes as though she is talking her future child or her partner suggesting she doesn't want the same for their child
        • uses legal language like bequeath suggesting she is reading a will and what her parents have left her is her genetic and this how she will remember them
      • the phrase 'take me up with you' suggests she is talking a higher power and wants to reach a higher understanding of learning
      • she seems to have come to terms with the divorce of her parents as speaks very matter of fact
    • structure
      • the poem begins using tercets and half rhyme suggesting her family is incomplete and she has not come to terms with her parents splitting
        • in the final stanza the rhyme is full rhyme and it is a quatrain suggests she has accepted her parents split - not so fricative in structure
      • the rigid structure suggests the structure she wants in her life but doesn't have due to the split of her parents
      • the rhyme appears forced as often repeats the same words in order to achieve the rhyme scheme
        • this mirrors how the narrator would force their parents together even if they don't have a natural relationship
      • the poet uses lots of end-stopped lines to emphasise the idea of breaks and divorce

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