Both figures were injured, the father on his knuckle, the son on his ear. After reading through the poem for the first time, one can generally understand the scene being carried out by the father and son. He does not lessen the impact of these beatings or their brutality. Instead, it is actually told by Roethke as an adult, remembering the event from his childhood as thoroughly as possible. The meter is trecet iamb stressed unstressed — three times per line. Alcohol would cause a person to act in such a harsh manner. However, I think when he was writing this he was reminiscing about a good childhood memory from when he was around seven years old.
My analysis of the poem and what it means to me is that in the first stanza I think it is about a father when he comes back home and he has been drinking, and then starts to dance with his son and they were doing the waltz dance. We get no sense, though, that the boy sides with his mother. As the poem goes on, the waltz gradually gets more and more difficult as well as his relationship with his father. Does it tie in with the title? Together with all these is the description of the father as poor man, one to be mercied. At first glance, My Papa's Waltz plants an image of child abuse in the reader's mind. Theodore Rothke went through a period where he was depressed and mentally unstable. A waltz is a three beat dance.
He defends his father because to him it seems that this is the reality he should be in. Although it's aimed at students, lovers of poetry will benefit from this close up look too. He later took a few graduate classes at Michigan and Harvard, but was unhappy in school. Biography written by Rhodes scholar and Oxford graduate Allan Seager. These dueling narrators, both within Roethke himself, struggle to find common ground throughout the Bassham2 poem, providing the reader with great tension on his feelings toward his father.
The fact that the father works hard everyday and drinks lots, the son still clings onto the father like he was someone he wanted to be. There is two angles or views to this poem: one being a happy fun time with daddy and the second child abuse if taken line by line out of the historical and social context. But, with a closer look at what Roethke is really implying, it becomes clear to the audience that the story alludes to a much lighter meaning. In his innocence, he discribes all of his pain in the only way he knows how, as a simple mistake or a game. Do you think the rhyme scheme helps the poem? Therefore, this poem has controversy that readers have multiple opinions in different visions. From the outset we know that this is a child speaking to the father about the smell of alcohol whiskey, your breath.
The word is usually associated with happy, boisterous, and energetic running around or dancing. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother's countenance Could not unfrown itself. Maybe that is why Roethke wrote the poem this way because the event was probably happening in many households and people then could identify with this. Some rejected the past and looked instead to the present moment or to the future, seizing an opportunity to reinvent themselves as America was reinventing itself as a superpower at the center of world politics. The imagery of the smell of whiskey on his fathers breath, and the stumbling through the kitchen making mother angry, certainly doesn't make this dance seem to be as elaborate and beautiful as a waltz.
The poem made me question a lot which is what all poems need to do, to make their readers question. Roethke's father was, yes, a drinker. The form of the poem that I found most engaging was the unique way Roethke chose his words of rhythm. Theodore Rothke was fascinated by the nature of the world; many of his poems were about this subject. Require a similar poem analysis? Unfortunately, in November of 1935 Roethke suffered a mental breakdown, the first of a number of recurring spells of mental illness which he would endure throughout his life. Stauffer, Donald Barlow, A Short History of American Poetry, New York: E. But to incline that it had anything to do with abuse, is absurd, but everyone is subject to their own interpretations, I suppose.
Not an orthodox word to use in this context. Those who see they joy in the poem downplay the diction of violence. He has control over the child's bed time. But the child is fearful of the father's strength, he can smell the liquor on his breath. This blog is focused towards my English 3 class where I will be academically analyzing various pieces of writing throughout the quarter. The constant rhythm throughout the poem gives it a light beat, like a waltz; the reader feels like he is dancing. He father even has power over his wife, who stands by watching, helpless to prevent her husband and son from turning the kitchen into a mess.
The two superior interpretations of critics are that Roethke's poem describes abuse or a dance. It explains how his father is intoxicated and the scene that goes along with it, using the word waltz to describe it. The central image in the poem is the metaphor in which the beatings are described as a waltz. In my point of view, the imagery and language, the symbolism, and tone in the poem gave me the impression of the love between the father and son, not of an abusive relationship. There is room for interpretation here.