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  • Created by: Chris
  • Created on: 13-01-13 16:18


'Four times now i have seen you as another 

Man, a grown up friend, less than a father'

  • Poet sees dad open up + reveal true feelings 4 times
  • 'a grown up friend' Dad more of a friend
  • 'Less than a father' - Boy wants dad to be dad rather friend this point. Naivety. Negative on dad. Too young realistic relationship
  • Enjambement - Emphasis on another + man. Ambigous seeing father as another man
  • 'Four times' repetition later on in poem
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'Chinks in the Paternal Mail'

  • Thinks of father as kight - strong brave
  • Father will not show weakness. Idealised image
  • Chinks ' Flaws, doubts, holes in armour
  • METAPHOR - true self reveals itself beneath fathers stoic image
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'And in the porch, (among the men), you cried'

  • 'Porch' isolated
  • 'Among the men' - rather than other man does not think father behaving like man. Crying
  • Death leads to honest reaction. Loves son can't maintain brave face. As poet older wants father more emotional + caring
  • Flaws make him view father as human, appreciates it.
  • 'You cried' emphasises weakness.
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'I left you at the barrier

Was embarassed when you stood a beer'

  • Son embarssed dad acting like friend buying alcohol
  • Due to wife leaving resorts alcohol coping mechanism. Emphasises family love
  • Father trying to connect in more honest way. To show human not 'knight'
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'To-day , a sinner, and shy about it

  • Change of tense, now present not pas
  • Abiguity? Who is sinner? Father or poet
  • 'Sinner' is because confessing. But to what? More ambiguity
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'What is going on 

under that thick grey skull? What confession

Are you preparing?

  • Rhetorical question - suggests confussion for son. Doesn't understand dads thought process
  • Double meaning - 'Thick' idiotic on the other bulky/solid
  • Suggests father is hard to comms with or gain his attention
  • 'Under' First word new sentence gives emphasis. Suggests key to figure out what father thinks about lies beneath outer shell
  • 'Grey' - Unknown area
  • 'Skull' - barrier needs to be broken, solid, just as skull to protect fragile brain, fathers emotions
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7 Fourth

'What confession

.......................? Do you kill sins as i would?'

  • Older boy wants to know fathers weakness unlike earlier vulnerability
  • To know as man not idealised version
  • Yet father won't confess to the boy. Only god
  • Only here will show vulnerabilty
  • Insearching for his own father, he leads to the father'
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8 Does poet know his father. Will be truly learn e

' You grunt and slam the door. I watch another 

who gropes as awkwardly to know 

his father'

  • 'Father' Ambigous - Who is the father? God? double meaning, literal, figurative
  • 1st meaning - Him watching someone else at church, trying to know father but not understanding. Literal?
  • 2nd - His father trying to get to know god. Metaphor.
  • 'Grunt' - lack of meaningful comms. Father + son
  • 'Gropes' - Suggest father struggles to know his father just as much as son with biological
  • 'Gropes' awkwardly show uncertainty of movement. Down to sins dad will confess.

Echoes first two lines on thoughts of father

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The third time

'by telling me an almost smutty story

In a restauant toliet. We both knew

This was an unprecedented breakthrough'

  • 'Smutty' - negative conno, sleazy
  • never happened before
  • acts like a mate
  • end of past
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