Memory of a Young Boy in The poem My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke

Decent Essays
My Papa’s Waltz The poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke presents a memory from a young boy waltzing with his father. The waltz is a metaphor that represents the relationship the boy has with his father. Although the poem may seem like a happy and sweet story of a father and son dancing in the kitchen there are also some darker underlying tones. The speaker, who is the young boy, is directing theses words towards his father, but does not actually express them directly to the father, instead the speaker is just reflecting upon them in his head. In the first stanza of the first line the reader finds out the father has been drinking, a lot, so much that his son also feels dazed from the alcohol on the fathers breath. Also the boy, “hung on like death” (3) this is a simile, meaning that he is hanging on tightly even though it may be hard. In the same line the speaker uses the word “death” this makes the poem feel a little somber and not very happy. At the end of the stanza in line four we find out that the boy was having difficulties waltzing with the father, the dancing they were doing was awkward for the young boy because the father was inebriated and loose from the drinking. Since the waltz represents the relationship they hold, this could very likely mean that it is not easy to be with his father every so often. Dancing with the father was not a quiet and graceful moment, but the young boy seems to accept it. In the second stanza we find out they are doing more
Get Access