A childhood memory of alcoholism and mental breakdowns in my papas waltz by theodore rothke

Conclusion My Papa's Waltz whilst not a complex poem in form or diction can give rise to points of debate and interest. Tone Is this a positive or a negative kind of poem?

Where this lacks ambiguity lurks.

my papas waltz theme

Rhyme The poem has a regular and full rhyme scheme, abab, with an exception in the first stanza. On the one hand are those who believe the poem speaks of child abuse by an alcoholic father; on the other hand there are those who, while acknowledging the role alcohol plays, believe the poem to be a cherished childhood reflection of a boy waltzing with his dad who's slightly tipsy.

So the possibility of misunderstanding it, one would think, would be next to nonexistent. This analysis will help you to understand just why this poem has stood the test of time.

My papas waltz tpcastt

In order to accomplish being unique, Theodore would occasionally extend the classroom sessions into a local bar. A large order, I daresay! As for Charles, his brother, it was obvious he could not handle the pain. In these poems, Roethke seems to be exploring ways to come to terms with his childhood and adolescence. His mind was not able to keep up with his body. The mother was a disapproving but, in the context of the poem, an inactive presence. Yet within that dance is a hint of desperation and a whole load of fear, carried by short lines, enclosed within easy rhyme. While such a figure has its comic aspects, it has a threatening side as well. He could be holding on tightly out of fear of his father, in apprehension that he might be knocked to the floor in a misstep. Symbolism The main symbol in the poem is waltz. The ambivalence of feeling extends to the narrative stance of the speaker. Biography written by Rhodes scholar and Oxford graduate Allan Seager. The father-son relationship should have been smooth and easy but in reality was awkward and stumbling.

It takes place at night. The other two things he was amazed by would be the mysteries of human speech and how a poet writes about their innermost feelings. I think this poem works because the rhythm of the waltz and the ambiguity are maintained throughout; we empathise with the clinging child who is roughly handled by the drunken father.

Several lines have seven syllables rather than six, and in many places the iambic rhythm is disrupted. Sad, sad if true. His love poems in the later part of his life were his most popular.

My papas waltz analysis essay

The mother's presence is important, she provides a contrast to the powerful, near out of control father. The mids: Forty years later, the compact disc begins another revolution in the industry, replacing vinyl records. Although he and his wife never had any children they lived a more peaceful life in Seattle. Many co-workers did not understand the mental problems Roethke was having and assumed he was mentally insane and incapable to continue teaching. Theodore Rothke was fascinated by the nature of the world; many of his poems were about this subject. I am sure Roethke was able to use this imagery so well because of so many memories stuck in his mind from his odd relationship with his father. Some of his former students are well-known 2 poets now such as Richard Hugo and James Wright. That said, this poem has produced two schools of thought as to its meaning. Not only was he well liked, often extending classroom sessions into the local bar, he was unique, as demonstrated by a popular anecdote from one of his classes at Michigan State University: To stimulate his class in an assignment of the description of physical action, Roethke told his students to describe the act he was about to perform. We get no sense, though, that the boy sides with his mother.

Which words are stressed and which not? It is only by going back to the roots of his own emotional and linguistic beginnings that Roethke the poet can go forward in his own poetic work.

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Analysis of the Poem "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke