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My Papa's Walts

3 Pages 770 Words

The undeniable love for one's father cannot be overseen. The poem " My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke proves that the difference between pain and love is only but a small spark in the brain. A split second of choice is given to decide whether you love someone or hate them, that is the reason why may people fall in love with people that hurt them. In the case of this poem, Roethke does a fantastic job of disguising the horrific ideas of a father beating his son behind the pleasant image of dancing. While domestic violence is becoming as common as the tardy work of a college student, Roethke gives a little insite of impact on the whole family.

A waltz is a dance performed by two persons in circular figures with a wirling motion(Websters). With this in mind the poem at hand gives a poor example of fine waltzing. In line 4 the author states that "such waltzing was not easy". At this point he gives the reader an insite to the begining of his sarcartic adventure. "We romped until the pans slid from the kitchen shelf"(lines 5 and 6). He wants you to think the "dancing" that they were doing was a little messy. whats realy happening is that a childs drunken over worked father has come home and is now abusively sending his son off to bed. As this is from the eyes of a small boy, he explains the actions of his father very easily like it is no big deal and this happens all the time. Roethke shows you the disapproval of the mother in this by her inability to stop this madness and her "frown". "You beat time on my head with a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed still clinging on to your shirt"(lines 13-16). These lines show how the child in this peom has been beaten but still hangs on, still thinks it will stop at any moment. He hopes that his father will realize whatis going on. Saying that he is still clinging on allows you to believe in a bond. It makes you think that this child may never let go, that h...

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