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
In the poem, “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, you see a child wanting a father’s love and care. The story opens up by talking about his father being a drunk. Although it does not directly say it, we can tell by the way the boy talks about his father, and his father’s actions. “The whiskey on your breath” (1) is the first line of the poem, which indicates someone talking about alcohol on someone’s breath. As the poem goes on you can start to pick up that it is getting told by a son.
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.
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
“My Father’s Song” describes the close, tender relationship between a father and his son, while “Those Winter Sundays” depicts a more distant, strained relationship between the father and his family. Ortiz’s lively descriptions of pleasant memories, illustrate how the father’s interactions with his son reveal his love and strengthen their relationship. A darker, emotionless tone fills Hayden’s poem as he emphasizes a father’s austere, yet sacrificial love toward his family. These poems both set different examples of how some families choose live out the bond between one
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
Apart from the obvious difference in the characters’ age, the enthusiasm level and the activeness in action are also noticeably different. James Joyce’s short story, “Araby”, is about a boy’s puppy love on his friend’s sister. The boy expresses his love in various ways. In his excessive flow of emotions, he uses a simile and poetically states, “my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires” (2169). When expressing how his emotion’s overflowing
The prince has lost his only friend and also his political tools, Buttercup and Vizzini. Inigo is injured, but he still has the support and the love of his friends. Love comes in all its forms—family, friendship and romance—has achieved all adversities in the inner story. Referring back to the frame tale, the boy has internalizes the fairytale and unconsciously makes a change. He rethinks the time spent with his grandfather and invites him back to reread the book with him.
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.