Registers by Michael Laskey

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Stanza 1

  • 'warm primordial cave' - nostalgia, metaphor, comfort, safety and security
  • ', Jack's gone.' - caesura, sudden movement, unexpected
  • 'chit-chat' - casual, informal tone
  • 'pegged' - past tense
  • Retrospective tone 
  • Syllable count - 9.8.9.8
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Stanza 2

  • 'at worst ajar' - always supporting his son -> dedication
  • 'sensible house' - sense of change
  • Sibilance runs from stanza 2 to stanza 3
  • Enjambement at end of stanza allows the poem to flow
  • Syllable count - 8.8.9.10
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Stanza 3

  • 'nothing stirs but the washing maching' - (WASHERMASHEN), suddenly noticing, the emptiness that his son has created, long sentence ->breathless, emphasises how busy he was, panic
  • 'clapsed, 'detaching' - present participles -> immediacy
  • 'protracted kiss goodbye' - desperate to keep his son with him
  • Syllable count - 10.10.9.8
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Stanza 4

  • 'Good boy' - new world, perhaps convincing himself that everything will be fine
  • 'diminishing' - becoming smaller, walking away
  • 'long/ corridors' - emjambement, contrasts the 'warm primordial cave' of stanza 1
  • 'strange' - lost, unsure of what to do now ->sadness
  • 'Miss Cracknell's' - sharp harsh sound, Dickensian
  • Opposes the first stanza
  • Syllable count - 9.9.7.9
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Whole Poem

  • No rhyme scheme
  • Loving and caring relationship between father and son - good parent, Laskey has an active role in bringing up his son, supports the context
  • 'Register' - a record/list of names (school, official), to process/understand something, style: formal/informal, voice range
  • Title is formal, contrasts to the informal tone of the poem
  • Syllable count and sentence length increases and decreases around the middle of the poem - builds it up, dramatic
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