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Word Count: 1,316
Tony Harrisons Book Ends Norton 2765 The poem is split into two sections I II consisting of eight and seven stanzas respectively The sections are both in Harrisons distinct 16-line sonnet form They adhere strictly to a simple a b a b rhyme scheme throughout dead bed pie try looks books except the last two lines that are inverted Each line consists of five feet or is pentametric except for section II line 15 which has eight feet octametric Attention is drawn to section I lines five six and section II lines three four eleven and twelve as these are in italics as well as Florence in section II line two which is in uppercase The persona appears to be a son or daughter reflecting on the mothers death the motions and emotions that he and his dad go through and a retrospective view with regret on the relationships within the family Baked the day she suddenly dropped dead we chew it slowly that last apple pie She presumably the mother is immediately associated with warm cosy and homely sensations of baking and apple pie The alliteration dropped dead emphasizes the surprised and morbid feeling and they try to come to terms with it as they slowly chew the last apple pie Shocked into sleeplessness youre scared of bed again associates the mother with something warm and cosy the bed rhymes with dead The father cant get to grips with the loss and is scared to find the bed usually warm and occupied now cold and empty or dead We never could talk much and now dont try is the first inkling that the poem may be dealing with something more than the mothers death There is a distance between the father and son that was eased with the presence of the homely mother again try can be tied to the apple pie that she had baked Youre like book ends the
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