Those Winter Sondays And My Papa's Waltz Analysis

924 WordsJun 16, 20174 Pages
The relationship between a father and his son is a sacred bond that is evident in all cultures. Although most fathers typically share a special kind of love for their sons, this affection can be displayed in many different ways. This theme of father and son love is expressed in the poems Those Winter Sundays, by Robert Hayden, and My Papa’s Waltz, by Theodore Roethke. Both of these authors use imagery and an extended metaphor to depict two different relationships between father and son. In My Papa’s Waltz, Roethke writes from the perspective of a man, looking fondly back on his relationship with his father. Roethke begins describing his father saying, “The whiskey on your breath could make a small boy dizzy.” This imagery portrays the…show more content…
Roethke’s use of this extended metaphor sums up this relationship as one of physical love, even throughout his fathers alcohol use. In Those Winter Sundays, Robert Hayden writes from the perspective of a son who is looking back on his relationship with his father with regret. Hayden begins the poem saying, “Sundays too my father got up early.” This expresses how Hayden’s father worked every day in order to support his son. This is followed by cacophonous words such as “blueback,” and “ached” to portray the physical labor that the narrator’s father displayed on a daily basis. Hayden then writes, “with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday.” This imagery alludes to the idea that the father is a day laborer during the week, similar to Roethke’s father in My Papa’s Waltz. But unlike Roethke’s father, the amount of imagery correlating with physical labor shows the reader that Hayden’s father portrays his love for his son through physical labor. Hayden goes on to describe his house in the morning saying, ([I would rise] fearing the chronic angers of that house, speaking indifferently to [the father].” Unlike the intimate atmosphere of My Papa’s Waltz, this imagery of chronic anger leads the

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