Summary Of My Papa's Waltz

Decent Essays
The Waltz in a Ballroom of my Memory

A waltz is a beautiful dance done between two partners in 3-4ths time; a magical dance done rhythmically around a ballroom. Cinderella and her prince did it; Belle and the Beast did it. Now we see that Theodore Roethke and his father have done it. While the subject of “My Papa’s Waltz” has spurred passionate academic debates from professors, scholars, and students alike, the imagery, syntax, and diction of the poem clearly supports the interpretation that Theodore Roethke wrote “My Papa’s Waltz” as a reflection on the short childhood memories he had with his father. Indeed, the theory that the author’s father was abusive, is agreeable to a point, I cannot accept the overall conclusion that the whole poem was written as a reflection on the author’s abuse from his father. “The hand that held my wrist[, w]as battered on one knuckle,” Roethke states in stanza 3. Though one can see how the two lines can be taken as if the father was firmly grasping the child’s wrist, while at the same time, others see it as a father gently holding
…show more content…
Although many can argue that this poem is entirely based on the abuse his father brought upon Roethke, Many others believe that this poem is a reflection of his childhood memories, which the author remembers fondly. Not only had Roethke’s father died when he was a teenager, but his uncle, to which he was very close to, committed suicide. Considering he was surrounded by a dense cloud of death, It is obvious that the poem is about fond memories Roethke remembers about his father many years ago. Roethke didn’t have the best relationship with his father, there were some ups and downs, to which we can all relate to. However, he loved his father more than anything, which is just as lovely of a thought as a waltz is a
Get Access