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Love Regardless

5 Pages 1292 Words

Love Regardless

In “My Papa’s Waltz” and “Those Winter Sundays” there is a strong relationship between father and son that is centered on the unconditional love that exists between them. The bond between them is not shown through love and affection, but by the actions they take with regard to one another. Throughout the two poems there is a reoccurring theme of loving “no matter what” that makes their often uncomfortable and dissonant relationships positive ones in the end.
The first stanza of “My Papa’s Waltz” starts out with a negative image. The father, who should be setting a positive example, is drunk in front of his young child.
“The whiskey on your breath could make a small boy dizzy.” (Roethke 1, 2)
However, the word that is used is “could,” so whether or not the boy was actually affected by the whiskey is unclear. It would seem that instead the word is used for emphasis on the how drunk the father was at the time, though it probably didn’t even bother his son. In the beginning it is hard to get a sense of the love between the father and son because of the starting tone. How the little boy “hung on like death” (Roethke 3) seems very dramatic almost as if the waltz was going to be a life or death matter with him and his drunken father. If waltzing with his father was so horrible the boy would probably be trying to escape the grip of his father. Instead, he holds on for dear life and sticks it out because he wants to spend what little time he can with his father. Throughout the poem the tone changes and the waltz becomes a fun sort of game that they play together before it’s time for bed.
In the second stanza the tone begins to change and take on a lighter and more playful feel. The word “romped” describes the ultimate lightheartedness and playfulness of spirits. Though the mother is disapproving as the pans slide from the kitchen shelf, boys will be boys and roug...

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