Essay Theodore Roethke 's My Papa 's Waltz

1050 Words Sep 13th, 2016 5 Pages
I have read Theodore Roethke’s poem “My Papa’s Waltz” several times, and every I tend to find new insights in it. It is the same old story where a father comes home drunk and mistreats his family. That’s what a reader would think after one reading of it. I expressed I can relate to the son and father’s relationship, along with some of the emotions expressed in the poem.
As any poem that you read, it can interpret something different or the same depending on the reader. In the first stanza where it says, “The whiskey on your breath/ Could make a small boy dizzy/ But I hung on like death/ Such waltzing was not easy” (1-4).
This can explain that the father had come home from work drunk probably from a bar almost every night. If the father’s breath could make him dizzy, then the father had to be a heavy drinker of whiskey or liquor in general. In my life I had a family member who encountered the same problems as the father in the poem. After work my uncle, comes home from work and as he steps into the house you can smell the aroma of liquor and cigarettes. This caused a problem in the house and lead to more problems between my aunt and uncle. Now we enter the tricky part of the poem. At first when he said, “But I hung on like death/ Such waltzing was not easy” (3-4), I began to think that the father was being abusive to his own son but that was not the case. My suggestion is that the son would welcome back the father into the house every night. “The hand that held my wrist”…

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