Analysis Of The Poem ' My Papa 's Waltz ' By Theodore Roethke

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The poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke tells the story of a moment between a father and a son. The father smells like he has had a little too much to drink, and he is dancing around in the kitchen with his son. The dance doesn’t seem to be as much fun for the son, because he is continually scraping his ear against his dad’s belt buckle. Similarly, the poem “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden tells the story of a particular moment between a father and son. The son tells the story of his father doing particular tasks every morning for the family. The speaker makes it clear that the father was never thanked for everything he did. It is only now at an older age, that the speaker realizes these small tasks were his father’s way of showing affection. Both poems have similar subject matter, and use strong imagery to describe their relationship, but they express different attitudes about father son relationships. Although both poets use a specific form throughout their poems, the both use different forms. Roethke’s poem is written in iambic trimeter, and has a ABAB rhyme scheme that continues throughout the entire poem. Something that Roethke does beautifully by using iambic trimeter, is relating the rhymes back to the subject matter of the poem. The dance of a waltz is done in three beats, similar to the beats of each line in this poem. However, every single line does not follow this particular beat, which works in this poem considering the dad is drunk. The beat of
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