Summary Of My Papa's Waltz By Roethke

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In Roethke’s poem “My Papa’s Waltz” a boisterous waltz between the boy and his father which was perhaps the result of a few too many drinks, resulted in a lifelong memory for the speaker of the poem. The poem revolves around a recollection of a child dancing with his apparently intoxicated Father. The waltz brought joy and excitement to a young child who may not always get to experience such bonding moments with his father. Although many readers often interpret the tone of the poem as negative, there is enough textual evidence to dispel this interpretation. Ultimately, the speaker’s tone throughout the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” displays the playful nature of his Papa’s Waltz. Although the speaker of the poem appears to detect his father’s…show more content…
The waltz between the father and his son ended with the boy getting sent to bed, so it was clear that the speaker enjoyed the prospect of delaying his bedtime. For instance, the speaker concludes his recollection by stating, “Then waltzed me off to bed/ Still clinging to your shirt” (Roethke 15-16). This signifies that the waltz may have just been an attempt to coerce the young boy into getting to bed. In addition, this poem highlights the playful nature of the relationship that bonds fathers and their…show more content…
However, the speaker chooses to hang on as tight as he can throughout the wild dance. In this example, the speaker utilizes a similie to depict how tightly he held on to his father during the waltz. As the speaker describes, “But I hung on like death: / Such waltzing was not easy” (Roethke 3-4). If the young boy did not want to partake in the waltz he would not be hanging on like “death;” rather he would attempt to avoid the situation entirely. Ultimately, interpreting this poem correctly requires a careful examination of the context of the
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