My Papa's Waltz Meter Analysis

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The use of meter in Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” symbolizes the relationship between the speaker and their father. This poem is predominately in iambic trimeter. This meter follows the flow of the waltz, a dance that is in 3/4th. The iambic pattern is inconsistent throughout the poem and these slight changes in meter relate to the father’s waltz itself. The waltz “could make a small boy dizzy”, emphasizing the clumsiness of the father’s dance by having an amphibrach foot follow after an iambic foot (Roethke 2). Not only is this waltz imperfect, but its tendency for imperfection repeats. Waltz traditionally has a circular pattern, with dancers moving in repeating circles, and the father’s waltz is no exception. The dance was “not easy”
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