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My Papa's Waltz Poem Analysis

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The Waltz of Love and Fear The speaker in Theodore Roethke poem, “My Papa's Waltz”, is a young boy who illustrates how his father waltz him to bed. This poem gives many different meaning that the reader can grasp, but ultimately the imagery, word choice, and tone shows how a horrific beating is told in a lovely manner. This description is not always true, but it is one of the major themes that most readers often assimilate when analyzing the poem. In the poem, imagery creates a variety of link between the boy and his father relationship. From the first stanza, one could assume that the father has a drinking issue, but the young boy is unbothered by it or not affect. “The whiskey on your breath/ Could make a small boy dizzy”(1-2). This shows the father drinking issue. Additionally, Roethke follow with, “But I hung on like death/ Such waltz was not easy”(3-4). This displays how the boy, even though he had a drunken father, still cared for him. Roethke gives a sense of love for the reader to relate to and creates a emotional image. Following to the third stanza, Roethke creates the image of the father as a…show more content…
Likewise, we can assume other reasons or meanings due to the language Roethke has used. “Romped” means to play childish, but instead of using “play”, “romped” gives a happier, more enlightened meaning. Not only this, yet the mother's “countenance” facial expression was “unfrown”. This mean the mother was constantly frowning. This word choice connects and allows the audience to create a perspective of how the family lifestyle was. Both of these words exhibits how Roethke wanted the audience to perceive this poem. The mother was constantly frowning perhaps due to her being frightened of the drunken father. One can perceive how the father might have a abusive relationship, yet even this does not affect the boy’s love towards the
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