While the subject of the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke has spurred passionate academic debate from professors, scholars, and students alike, the imagery, syntax, and diction of the poem clearly support the interpretation that Roethke writes “My Papa’s Waltz” to show him reminiscing on his relationship and many memories, good and bad with his father from when he was a child. Imagery is used to represent the joyful or even unsure times that Roethke and his father experienced. His father arrives home, after work not wasting time to wash his hand leaving them “a palm caked hard by dirt,” to make sure that he gets to hang out with his son before bedtime. As the boys played around making messes and maybe breaking something here and
My Papa's Waltz is a well written poem that forces the reader to think hard about every individual word. Theodore Roethke has written a brain churning piece of art. The two main interpretations are both questionable but the interpretation involving abuse stands out. The large amount of negative words and phrases, the father being under the influence of alcohol, and the mother being so disapproving causes one to strongly conjecture if the poem is meant to be blithe. "Such waltzing was not easy" (4) because abuse is not something anyone should take let alone a
The next line continuing the same thought as the previous line “But I hung on like death” Could be the young child is out unconscious and just hanging on to his life. After that the line “Such waltzing was not easy” might be it wasn’t easy for the child to watch their father to dance over his body. This stance to me means that the father came home drunk and he knocked the child out the point of the child being unconscious. A Husband and Wife can share a strang bond between each other. Love, Lust and some strange interest.
My Papa’s Waltz: by Theodore Roethke The poetic piece of “My Papa’s Waltz” written by Theodore Roethke is a traumatic tale that approaches a psychoanalytic approach to a young boy’s relationship towards his Father. Although the poem itself is only sixteen lines, it is one of Roethke’s most moving and most frequently anthologized or recognized poems . The story has been read as a very warm memory, but easily shifts itself into a perplexed darker narrative that deals with assumptions like abuse. In this analytical essay, I will discuss the past experiences of Theodore Roethke that influenced “My Papa’s Waltz”, emphasizing the psychoanalytical approaches that are defined in this emotional poem. The story is told
Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz”, written in 1942 toward the end of World War II, focuses on a scene between father and child. There are two clear sources of imagery in this poem, one is of dancing while the other is violence. True these two are complete opposite and many people don’t see them relating. Lucky for the reader Roethke’s connects the two fluently to paint a picture for us. The first example of dancing is the whole poem keeps a steady three beat per line rhythm just like a waltz does.
While the subject of “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke has spurred passionate academic debate from professors, scholars, and students alike, the imagery, background, and diction of the poem clearly support the interpretation that Roethke writes “My Papa’s Waltz” to reminisce upon a nostalgic memory from childhood of dancing or “waltzing” with his father. Many individuals believe that the poem is about an abusive relationship between the author and his father. Although this may seem true through certain aspects, the author intended for this poem to be a reflection upon a happy memory with his father. According to the author, Roethke meant for this poem to be a dedication to his father, who has passed away while the author was at a young age. Thus, Roethke achieves his purpose
The poem “My Papa’s Waltz” written by Theodore Roethke uses vague and ambiguous language about the relationship he and his father share. The unique circumstances of each family are never easy to understand. Father’s helps build a solid foundation in their sons lives by their presence, their absence, their criticism, their encouragement, and ultimately, the lessons passed along from one generation to the next. The tone of the poem gave me the impression that Roethke loved his hard working, rough housing, playful father. Roethke describes his father using imagery that suggest his strength and his working class background.
Roethkeś major works include ¨Journey Into The Interior,¨ ¨Child On Top Of A Greenhouse,¨ and ¨In A Dark Time.¨ Also among his more popular poems is ¨My Papa’s Waltz,¨ one of Roethke’s most renowned works, which uses a childlike perspective to tell a of a time when his tipsy father waltzed with him around the kitchen. While the poem is frequently interpreted as a secret story of abuse, Roethke’s tone and use of imagery throughout ¨My Papa’s Waltz¨ suggests a loving relationship between father and son, which was profoundly impacted by the death of his father due to cancer in 1923, years before the poem was written. Roethke begins the first stanza with a description of his father by speaking about the smell of whiskey on his breath. Based on Roethke´s personal struggle with alcohol, depression and mental instability throughout the 1930s, one can interpret from the first line of the poem that finding whiskey on his
For this I chose to analyze the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke. One can assume that the speaker is a young boy, or perhaps the poet reminiscing his youth. Upon first glance, the tone is humorous, and a picture is presented of a boy waltzing with his father. This scene is comical with the boy clinging on for dear life as his chuckling father spins him around. The father dances around in a haphazard manner, knocking over pans in the kitchen while the mother looks on unhappily.
It reads as follows, “the hand that held my wrist was battered on one knuckle;” (9-10) again, we see the choice of words. Roethke did not use the words “calloused hands, rough hands,” He chose “battered.” As in, this was not the first time the father had struck his son. Upon the ending of stanza four, we come across these lines, “at every step you missed, my right ear scraped a buckle.” (11-12) Now the father has transitioned from his hands, to his belt. To target the sons’ ear was not his purpose, but you could almost imagine the continuous beating with no intended target other than his son. The goal was to hurt him, does not matter where he hurt