The poem, “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke has spurred passionate academic debate from professors, scholars, and students. On one hand, some individuals interpret this poem as a fond relationship between a father and a son. On the other hand, some imagine a hidden message of parental abuse. The imagery, syntax, and diction of the poem clearly support the interpretation that Roethke writes, “My Papa’s Waltz,” to reflect upon his own childhood experience and to reminisce upon a fond relationship with his father. Admittedly, Roethke uses imagery to convey the devoted relationship of him and his father. For instance, in the first paragraph the author illustrates, “. . .whiskey on your breath could make a small boy dizzy. . . hung on like death; such waltzing was not easy.” Despite the fact that Roethke’s father is intoxicated, he still hangs on to him. These phrases help highlight the idea that Roethke has a doting relationship with his father and his unwillingness to leave him. Further in the poem, “We romped until the pans slid from the kitchen shelf,” reveals their playful relationship. One can see from this, the crashing of the pots and the sounds of laughter. On another note, the mother has a facial expression that “could not unfrown itself.” This phrase helps reveal that the mother isn’t involved in their play. She does not favor the fact that her pots are jumbling all over her kitchen. As well as in the last stanza, Roethke illustrates that his father’s hand is
In “My Papa’s Waltz,” Theodore Roethke illustrates an image of a father-son romp around the kitchen that is both harsh in its play and delicate in its memory. Roethke illustrates the poem’s images from his own childhood memories. Roethke uses simple words to create puzzling phrases that could be interpreted in different ways. The poem is ambiguous due to certain word choices that have baffling double meanings. Roethke’s poem paints an image of his childhood interactions with his father. Roethke paints this picture by using ambiguity within a waltz-like structure.
The poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, uses four stanzas to explain what many readers would conclude as a beating by an abusive and out of control father. He uses metaphoric language to set the tone for his poem. Studying Roethke’s biography you learn his poems are based on events he experienced during his development from childhood to adulthood.
“My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke sparks differing opinions within the minds of many. Roethke was influenced greatly by his experiences as a young boy. For instance, his uncle and father both died when he was the age of fourteen. “My Papa’s Waltz” is written in remembrance of his father after this dreadful occurrence. The author’s use of imagery brings light to the his adoration for his father. Notably, his way of stringing together ideas reinforces the fond memories they shared. Roethke’s captivating choice of words supports his purpose to make known the love he has for this man. While the subject of “My Papa’s Waltz” has spurred passionate academic debate from professors, scholars, and students alike, the imagery, syntax, and diction of the poem clearly support the interpretation that Theodore Roethke writes “My Papa’s Waltz” to bring attention to the loving relationship he had with his father.
At first glance, “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke is very intriguing as the poem is very ambiguous at first. Many people that read the poem at first believe it to be about child abuse, which is very easy for readers of the 21st generation to confuse as we see everything with a dark meaning behind it. The poem is about a boy who dances with his father, hence the name of the poem “My Papa’s Waltz”. Once the poem has been reread several times, we can take a closer look at what Roethke is really implying in the poem. Therefore, it becomes clear to the audience that the poem has a lighter meaning and has a more positive outlook than a negative outlook to the situation occurring in the poem.
An older boy remembered his father, a hardworking blue collar man. He remembered how his father would walk into the home each evening with scraped hands and perspiration stained shirts. His father was a tough man. He was the kind of man that refused to go to the doctor and rarely hugged his children. Yet, he was a good man. The boy remembered how his father provided for the family and often times his smallest actions proved his paternal love for them. One particular memory stood out among the rest. His father had returned home from work late one evening. He had been out celebrating his pay raise with some of his co-workers down at the local pub. He waltzed through the door bursting with
In the poem My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke, he looks back in his memory as a child and explains the love he has for his father despite all the flaws his father holds. Roethke describes his emotions through this poem by using diction, imagery, and the use of tone.
My Papa’s Waltz is a poem written by Theodore Roethke, published in his collection of poems in 1942. It captures the complex relationship the speaker has with his father. The speaker describes his relationship with his father as difficult and frightening using symbolism, tone, and word choice. The poem reveals that the speaker is afraid of his father although he still loves him. In this essay, I will explain how Roethke portrays their relationship with the aforementioned literary terms.
The controversial poem, “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke has spurred passionate academic debate from professors, scholars, and students alike; the imagery, syntax, and diction of the poem clearly support the interpretation that Roethke writes “My Papa’s Waltz” to reminisce on a bittersweet memory with his father. His unclear commemoration has sparked a divide on what the true purpose of the poem is. Some may argue the poem’s purpose is to shine light on the subject of abuse, whereas others believe the father and son were sharing a moment while “roughly playing.” However, the more one examines this piece of literature, it becomes undeniable that the poem portrays a scene of a toxic father-son relationship. Although there are a
Theodore Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz" is a poem that consists of sixteen lines. Roethke made the rhyme plot abab, cdcd, efef, ghgh. Roethke utilizes this rhyme plan to influence it to seem as though the poem is a waltz. The rhyme throughout the stanzas gives the poem a beat. Every stanza consists of four lines, which the first and third lines rhyme, and the second and fourth lines rhyme. As you first read the poem you portray a little kid who is hitting the dance floor with his intoxicated father in the kitchen. In line 7 and 8, you get the feeling that the little kid's mom is annoyed with the father. The pictures in the sonnet incorporate the kid's dad faltering around, and the little kid supposes he and his dad are moving. Another picture the poem leaves is the father's hands "battered on one knuckle" and "built up hard by dirt" which is stated in lines 10 and 14. This leaves a picture of a hard-working man, and the mother is furious. The last picture in the poem is the place that the drunk father is putting the little kid to bed. Roethke utilizes a likeness in the sonnet contrasting how the kid was being dragged around while the kid thought he was moving stated on line 3. The waltz is a generally developed allegory. The little kid trusts that he is moving, however, his dad is just dragging him around. The tone of the poem is gloomy. Roethke utilizes in line 3 and 10 the words "battered" and "passing" to make the tone of the sonnet gloomy. The father appeared to have gotten into an encounter while being intoxicated, and his significant other is worried about him. The little kid did not have any desire to go to bed since in line 16 it says he was sticking to his dad's shirt.
The poem My Papa’s Waltz, by Theodore Roethke, is a complex multi-layered poem about the relationship between a father and son. On the surface level, the poem seems to be discussing a cheery moment before bedtime where the father and son are playing. However, a deeper look could entail a much more abusive relationship between the two. In the end, the message is muddled, and neither meaning becomes the dominant one. I think this is perfect, because the relationship between the paternal/child is no clear and simple thing either. Throughout the poem, Roethke uses his mastery of diction to capture the complexities of the father-son relationship.
Theodore Roethke’s poem “My Papa’s Waltz” illustrates a nightly ritual between a working-class father and his young son. In the first stanza a young boy holds tightly to his father. The second stanza describes a playful roughhousing between father and son. The fourth stanza shows again the boy’s unwillingness to let go of his father. Roethke’s AB rhyming scheme and waltz-like meter set a light and joyful cadence. The music of the waltz comes through in the reading and with it a carefree and innocent tone for the telling of the short amount of time between a hard-working father arriving home and the time when his son must go to bed.
A parent in a child's life is a role model in there eyes. If one has bad influences on your child, in what way do would think one may impact on his or her life. The narrative poem “My papa’s Waltz”, is written by Theodore Roethke in 1948. Papa is a extremely hard working man by the show of his hands. Papa and his son are in the kitchen waltzing around remarkably rough, while mother is not too happy about it. While the father and son are dancing around the son keeps getting hurt. While in the end papa waltzed his son right off to bed. In the narrative poem “My Papa’s Waltz”, Roethke uses symbolism and imagery to reveal the theme, parents impact children's life, even after they are grown.
The poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke can be interpreted in several different ways. Every person reads it differently, some believe that it is about a father abusing his son and others believe it is just a playful scenario between a father and son. After reading it a couple times over I started to realize each part of the poem could be thought out in different ways.
In the poem "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke, the meaning of the piece varies on the readers` perspective. Some think that this is one of happy memories between a son and father. Others think that the waltz covers up the truth of child cruelty. In my opinion, the symbolism and the imagery in My Papas Waltz gave me the automatic thought of the abusive relationship between the father and son. But after investigating the poem I could begin to see the positive side.
1. I thought number 1 was interesting. What does the shape of the poem look like and how the shape of the poem might be working with the content to further the intention of the poem.