Reading the poem, the first time through it appears to be abusive. The imagery of “My Papas Waltz” can clearly be understood as a father waltzing with his son in the kitchen, tapping the beat too his son’s head, and his ear scraping his buckle against his child’s ear. The poem is playful when the poem says, “At every step you missed/ My right ear scraped a buckle” (Roethke lines 11-12). The lines can be interpreted as a dad whipping a kid with a belt, but that is not what the author intended
Further, Roethke uses word diction to set the overall tone for this poem. The word “waltz” which is used frequently throughout the text means “to dance in triple time performed by a couple who as a pair turn rhythmically around and around as they progress around the dance floor.” If Roethke was undergoing abuse, the author would choose unfavorable words to describe encounters with his father. Instead, Roethke uses heartening words to get his message across; which is that he will cherish the memorable times he shared with his father. Another word easily misinterpreted is “romped” used in line five, which gives readers a negative connotation; but in truth means “ to play roughly and energetically” This proves that the author and his father were
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
Johann Strauss was born on October 25, 1825 and died on June 3, 1899. He was an Austrian composer of light music, particularly dance music and operettas. Some of Johann Strauss' most famous works include "The Blue Danube", "Kaiser-Walzer. Strauss Junior studied the violin secretly as a child with the first violinist of his father's orchestra, Franz Amon. When his father discovered his son was secretly practicing on a violin, he gave him a severe whipping, saying that he was going to beat the music out of the boy.
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.
Theodore Roethke’s poem, “My Papa’s Waltz,” unfolds the seemingly frequent event of a young boy receiving a beating from his drunken father. The speaker of the poem is a young man, possibly in his early teenage years. This conclusion is based upon line 2, “Could make a small boy dizzy.” This line gives an indication that the main character of the poem has been involved in this type of tussle since he was a small child. There could also be a very strong connection between the author of the poem and the speaker. It is easy to sense that the author is portraying a very emotional experience he had as a young man.
Diction has a strong affect on how readers interpret a passage. This is proven through Theodore Roethke’s poem, “My Papa’s Waltz”. The poem presents a boy roughhousing with his father. However, some critics see the roughhousing taking place as abusive, due to the negative word choice displayed throughout the poem. The author set a positive and negative tone throughout the poem, representing the respect and fear he had for his father.
Throughout the play, the main factor that runs through the story is the idea of elegance, and one of the main visualizations is the dancing that happens in and out of the story line. Sam and Willie are continually dancing and talking about dancing throughout the story, and while Hally doesn’t dance, he does orient the conversation and starts an essay about it, absorbing their excitement and gracefulness through osmosis. Hally lets himself be drawn into their world, although he isn’t a fan of dancing, outright expressing that dancing is a waste of time in his opinion, saying “...you 're not asking me to take ballroom dancing serious, are you?”(Fugard, 25). Moreover, Hally is no artist, and recounts something his art teacher had said, “...said I was no Leonardo da Vinci and that bad art had to be punished.”(Fugard, 9). In Hally’s eyes, art is useless and doesn’t get you anywhere in life, and instead focuses on people that he considers of importance.
Mikhail Baryshnikov is one of the most famous ballet dancers for over the past 50 years. His explosive style redefined the role of the male dancer in ballet and helped dancers to be correctly seen as athletes as much as artists. When he was young, his father didn 't like him spending his time dancing. His mother encouraged him to dance. Sadly, his mother commit suicide.
When we see that Roethke’s father died when he was merely a child, maybe Roethke portrayed the son clinging on “…such waltzing was not easy” (293), because Roethke would take any attention he could get from his father if he was alive. Roethke had different feelings about his father. In “My Papa’s Waltz,”