Both poems reflect on how their fathers showed his love for his son, the time spent with their fathers, a maternal conflict, and their relationship with their father. Throughout “My Papa’s Waltz” and “Those Winter Sundays”, the author’s reflect on how their fathers were hard workers, although each memory is emotionally different. In “My Papa’s Waltz”, Roethke remembers his father coming home from work and his hands “Was battered on one knuckle” (Line 10). Even though the father had a long day at work, the boy recounts him coming home and dancing with him. Whereas “Those Winter Sundays”, Hayden recalls his fathers hard work by describing his “Cracked hands that ached/ From labor in the weekday…” (Line 3;4).
"My Papa 's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke is an interesting poem that begins with complexity. Theodore Roethke implicates the aspects of his childhood experience in this poem. This poem is immersed in metaphors, symbolism, and imagery that can overwhelm the readers with vagueness and doubts. Upon this poem 's interpretation, some people consider this poem as a parental abuse and some people see it as a son 's cheerful memory of an evening dancing with his father. The metaphors, symbols, and tone of this poem bring the impression of a child 's unconditional love for his abusive father.
“My Papa's Waltz”, by Theodore Roethke, and “Those Winter Sundays”, by Robert Hayden are the two poems that are somewhat similar and both of these poems are about beloved fathers. Father is the man who is spends time with you and takes care of you. While doing so much for the family he gains the respect and love from the family. In these two poems Roethke and Hayden take a flashback at the actions of their fathers. Even though both of these poems propose that their fathers were not perfect, they still love them.
The use of meter in Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” symbolizes the relationship between the speaker and their father. This poem is predominately in iambic trimeter. This meter follows the flow of the waltz, a dance that is in 3/4th. The iambic pattern is inconsistent throughout the poem and these slight changes in meter relate to the father’s waltz itself. The waltz “could make a small boy dizzy”, emphasizing the clumsiness of the father’s dance by having an amphibrach foot follow after an iambic foot (Roethke 2).
In Robert Hayden’s Those Winter Sundays, the poet tells the story from a child’s point of view, reflecting on all the things that his/her father did on Sunday mornings for him/her because the father loves them so much. The author of Those Winter Sundays purpose in writing it is to show the reader that parents make sacrifices out of love all the time for their children, but the children don’t always see it at first. The poet communicates his theme through figurative language and sound devices. In this poem, Hayden uses figurative language, such as hyperbole. Things such as “blueblack cold”(2), and “banked fires blaze”(5), show the sort of exaggeration of the endures his father did for him.
The poem represents more than just the son’s recount of childhood baseball because the son wants to “let this be the sign” to his father that he loves and appreciates him (21). Moreover, the title of the poem, “Sign for My Father, Who Stressed the Bunt,” adds to this sense of the poem expressing the love the son shares for his father. Another symbol, or even implied metaphor, is the bunt which represents self-sacrifice by extension. Since the father desperately wants his son to understand the value of the “bunt,” he clearly cares deeply for his son. The son claims that his father “could drop it [the bunt] like a seed,” which implies that the father’s sacrifice has been gingerly placed in order to grow strong one day (8).
“Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden has much significance throughout it, the poem is generally about an adult reflecting back to his childhood having regrets for not appreciating his father's love. Hayden describes a father to son relationship for the reader. This poem can be similar to the quote “ you don’t what you’ve got until it's taking away” Hayden uses imagery, diction, and emotional appeal to make it relatable to the readers. Hayden writes this poem figuratively using imagery to provide the reader with a vivid ideal for example “Blueback cold” shows imagery of how cold those winter Sundays really were, and “Blueblack cold can also be used metaphorically here to describe the bruise on the child heart from the feeling of thinking he was unloved throughout his childhood. All love is shown in a different manner you just have to understand the
In Roethke’s poem “My Papa’s Waltz” a boisterous waltz between the boy and his father which was perhaps the result of a few too many drinks, resulted in a lifelong memory for the speaker of the poem. The poem revolves around a recollection of a child dancing with his apparently intoxicated Father. The waltz brought joy and excitement to a young child who may not always get to experience such bonding moments with his father. Although many readers often interpret the tone of the poem as negative, there is enough textual evidence to dispel this interpretation. Ultimately, the speaker’s tone throughout the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” displays the playful nature of his Papa’s Waltz.
I believe Roethke decided to use the title “My Papa’s Waltz” instead of “My Father’s Waltz” because the poem is about a memory from his childhood. The simile “hung on like death” gives us a good idea of how hard the speaker tries to keep his balance while “waltzing” with his father (lines 3-4). The facial expression of the speaker’s mother “could not unfrown itself” (8). The speaker’s mother appears to be annoyed because he and his father are making a mess in the kitchen. Even though I believe this poem can be interpreted in different ways, I feel that the speaker is portraying a positive image of his father.