The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt.
At first glance it appears to be a simple four stanza work but a closer look at these 16 lines will reveal much more. This analysis will help you to understand just why this poem has stood the test of time.
Although it's aimed at students, lovers of poetry will benefit from this close up look too. Theodore Roethke was born and grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, eventually going on to Harvard and then into teaching poetry in Washington.
He had several bouts of depression and mental instability during the s but eventually overcame them. His poetry borders on the confessional but isn't in the same league as say, Robert Lowell or Anne Sexton.
You'll find a more lyrical approach to life with some of his work.
It has a warmth and a charm that offsets the darker elements. His father had a horticultural business and many poems reflect Roethke's interest in the greenhouses he worked in when a boy. The greenhouse poems so called include My Papa's Waltz. Towards the end of his life Roethke became one of the most popular poets of his generation.
You may need to read through at least three times before starting any serious analysis. Make notes as you go along just in case you forget something important.
As you read what sort of rhythm do you get a sense of? Does it tie in with the title? Which words are stressed and which not? This is a snapshot of life from the mind of a child and conveys a sense of fun and menace at the same time. The dance is a waltz so it has a lilting, regular feel to it, almost lighthearted.
But the child is fearful of the father's strength, he can smell the liquor on his breath. This is not positive yet a father dancing with his son should be an uplifting experience.
The mother's presence is important, she provides a contrast to the powerful, near out of control father. There's a hint of domestic chaos in the poem and the reader is compelled to try to work out whether this is a good or a bad thing.
After reading this poem what sort of feeling are you left with?
Are you happy for the boy who is dancing with his whiskey drinking father? Or do you fear for both him and his mother? The poem leaves the reader asking questions despite the regular rhythm and simple form of the poem.
Such waltzing was not easy. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt.
Tone Is this a positive or a negative kind of poem? What sort of feelings are aroused when you read through each stanza? You could argue that this poem has a playful, carefree sort of atmosphere.
The child is dancing with his father in the house just before bedtime. Words like romped and waltzed add to the informality. Surely this would be a scene of joy and happiness? The answer is yes and no. There's an ambiguity built up in the poem so that, on the one hand this is a light and frolicking poem, yet there's darkness and uncertainty too.
The child hangs on to the whiskey drinking father like death, and the father's dirty hand beats time on his son's head. Not an orthodox word to use in this context. With a palm baked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed The mother's contrasting expression is apparent in the use of the words countenance and unfrown, with their rounded, long vowel sounds.
This helps bring home the idea of the seriousness of the situation as the boy is waltzed round the room by his father.Analysis of "My Papa's Waltz" This poem has a kept form. Even at a glance, it has a set form.
It consists of four quatrains, each line being an iambic tritameter. The poem is about a young boy waltzing with his father. One can assume that the speaker is a young boy, or perhaps the poet reminiscing his youth.
Need Facebook Who Wants To Be A Millionaire answers, solutions and cheats? Consult our quick reference chart. Then help us grow more Millionaire cheats! My Papa's Waltz: an Analysis of Speaker and Situation Essay Words | 4 Pages.
The poem "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke is a moving representation of childhood spent in a working middle class family. The speaker of this poem is a man recalling his childhood, his father and his mother through the means of a waltz.
“My Papa’s Waltz” is a short poem by a modern American poet Theodore Roethke. The poem was written in the s and set in some earlier decade, and describes a scene from family life, when a tipsy father waltzes with his little son around the kitchen. Mar 11, · My Papa's Waltz is one of Theodore Roethke's best known poems.
At first glance it appears to be a simple four stanza work but a closer look at these 16 lines will reveal much more. This analysis will help you to understand just why this poem has stood the test of plombier-nemours.coms: 4.
Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” is a brief, but impactful poem about a young boy’s relationship he has with his father. The term ‘waltz’ is used in irony as the main concept for the poem.
In dance, a waltz is a graceful and delicate movement of the body.