Essay on Comparing Those Winter Sundays to My Papa's Waltz

1100 Words Mar 7th, 2007 5 Pages
Battered Memories: Child and Father Relationships In "Those Winter Sundays" and "My Papa's Waltz" "Sundays too my father got up early and / And put his clothes on in the blueback cold" comes from Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays" and describes the life of the speaker who reminisces of the childhood experiences that were spent with the speaker's father (1-2). "At every step you missed / My right ear scraped a buckle" comes from Theodore Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz and also exemplifies a past relationship between a child and father (11-2). Despite the many similarities that exist between Theodore Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz" and Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays" the tone, diction, and poetic devices that are used in each poem …show more content…
The usage of these words through comparisons and other poetic devices also allows readers to get better understandings of the relationship between the speaker and the speaker's father. Roethke's usage of poetic devices place emphasis on the conditions in which the speaker experiences as a young child. Although the whiskey on the father of the speaker's breath is very strong, the speaker continuously " . . .hung on like death" (3) and candidly states that "Such waltzing was not easy" (4). The usage of simile by comparing the speaker's clinging of his father's shirt to death places emphasis on the feelings and emotions that are present in the household. Knowing that his " . . . mother's countenance could not unfrown itself" is an example of imagery that further adds to the turmoil and negative events that exist in the speaker's home by allowing readers to visualize the facial expressions that are present (7-8). Not only do the poetic devices contribute to the meaning of the poem, but it also contributes to the tone as well. The tone in "Those Winter Sundays" is also reflective, yet it establishes a sense of guilt and remorse. The speaker questions inwardly by wondering "What [he] kn[e]w / . . . of love's austere and lonely offices" as a young child, which creates a sense of guilt and conveys
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