My Papa's Waltz Analysis

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My Papa’s Waltz Theodore Roethke is one of the many poets that came to popularity during the 1940s through 1960s and he continues to be one of the most well known poets of this time period. Unlike other poets of this time, Roethke´s work never followed the highly intellectual approach to words and poems. Instead, the poetry of Roethke borders a lyric-like conffessional of dark experiences wrapped up in light-hearted words. In many collections of his poems, one may find that Roethke coats childhood memories with a warm rhythm full of symbolism and vivid words. 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
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