My Papa's Waltz Analysis Essay

551 Words3 Pages
Rashmi Singh
Mrs. Gary
World Literature 4
14 October, 2016
“It’s a hard knock life”
The poem, “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke sounds like it can be lyrics to a song. It seems to be about a child dancing with their father, but it is so much deeper. The poem shows how a child is with their father every step of the way in their difficult life.
In the beginning of the poem Roethke describes what a child thinks about their father’s life. “The whiskey on your breath / could make a small boy dizzy; / But I hung on like death:/ Such waltzing was not easy”. The first stanza shows the way the child describes this father’s life. The first two lines talk about, “whiskey” and, “make a small boy dizzy” this shows that people like the child 's father cannot take such a difficult life like the child 's father does. The next two lines say, “hung on like death” and “ waltzing was not easy” this shows that the child stands by their father and it wasn’t that easy.
Continuing with the second stanza the child describes more about going through this crazy life. “ We romped until the pans/ Slid from the shelf;/ My mother’s countenance/ Could not unfrown itself”. The first two lines of the stanza say that the child and their father keep trying in life through the good and bad times. The last two lines describe the, “mother’s
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“You beat time on my head/ With a palm caked hard by dirt,/ Then waltzed me off to bed/ Still clinging to your shirt.” The first two lines talk about how so much time has passed. The child talks about what the father does like, “ you beat time”, “palm caked hard by dirt” these lines describe how the child thinks that their father counts every second go by with the hands they use to work with. The next two lines say, “waltzed me off to bed”, “still clinging to your shirt” The child shows that the father tries to put the child to bed but the child is still with the
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