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My Papa's Waltz Analysis

Decent Essays
“My Papa’s Waltz” is a 16 line poem, by Theodore Roethke, that most people read through one of two lenses. Some find the poem to be a completely light hearted memory that a child has of his father, while others can see a more morbid side of an abusive alcoholic father who is beating his child rather than waltzing. Whether you read it through the violent lense ot the innocent one there is no doubt that the poem is about a memory, whether scary or fun is up to the reader themselves. “Those Winter Sundays”, by Robert Hayden, can easily be compared to “My Papa’s Waltz”, simply because both poems are read from the two lenses of abuse and innocence. More commonly with Hayden’s poem, you can interpret it as a light-hearted piece. The poem is a simple memory that people all over can probably relate to, of how his hard-working father would wake up early even on Sunday mornings to make sure that he woke up in the comfort of a warm house in the winter. Although this one is a lot easier to read from the light-hearted side there is still a darker side that some people see relating to emotional and mental abuse from the father projected onto the child. Taking into consideration that both of these poems were written by males, they both seem to be about a father and son relationship and that can change how one reads the poems. Had it been a father/daughter relationship in “My Papa’s Waltz”, it would be much easier to read it as a light hearted and innocent dance with her father. With
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