My Papa's Waltz Poem Analysis

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[Description] The speaker 's mother is upset. [Response] "My Papa 's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke" "My mother 's countenance/ Could not unfrown itself "(ll7-8) The speaker 's mother is frowning, indicating that she 's upset, perhaps because her pots and pans are sliding from the "kitchen shelf"(ll 5-6) perhaps because her husband has been drinking. The speaker is dead, a casualty of World War II “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” Randall Jarrell “I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters”(I4) “When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose”(I5) From the title alone we know this poem takes place in World War II because that is when Ball Turret Gunners were used. We know the speaker is dead because of the last line, which…show more content…
We know the speaker sees a death because he watches the whites of a soldier’s eye roll back. We know it was a terrible death because of the graphic details and the speaker describes it as “bitter” and “obscene” (I20-23). The speaker’s father puts him to bed. "My Papa 's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke “Then waltzed me off to bed” (IV15) We know it is the speaker’s father because of the title; it refers to his “Papa”. We know the speaker is being brought to bed because he describes his father waltzing him off to bed. The speaker wishes the best for his lover. “Lullaby” W. H. Auden “Lay your sleeping head, my love” (I1) “Let the winds of dawn that blow Softly round your dreaming head” (IV32-33) We know the speaker is talking to his lover because of the first line; he tells him to lay his head on his arm. We know he wishes the best for his lover because of the line “Let the winds of dawn that blow Softly round your dreaming head” (IV32-33). This means he hopes the day brings great things for his lover. Dawn can be interpreted as new beginnings and opportunities. The fact that it is blowing “softly” shows that the speaker wants him to not have to face anything hard when the new day comes with
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