As I listened to “My Papa’s Waltz” being read aloud I felt a connection to it; a connection that I did not feel when I read it to myself. When I heard the poem aloud I was able to connect it my own life and the drunken “waltz” of a hard working father taking his son to bed. The performance added to the poem because it brought the words to life. I am a hearing learner so listen to the poem made it easier for me to comprehend it. However the performance did not change my perception of the poem. Before hearing it aloud I understood that it was the story of a father putting his son to bed. Hearing it aloud just made it easier to understand the emotion and the love of a hardworking man and his son. The verses that stuck out the most to me in this poem are 12-15 “You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.” (Roethke, 2010)
I am not sure why this line stuck out to me but as I watched my children and thought about our own hard working man (my husband) granted he does not drink but he still has that waltz. It is the waltz of a tired man that still musters the energy to tuck his children in bed. Reference:
Roethke, T. (2010). My Papa's Waltz. In R. W. Clugston, Journey into Literature. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education Inc.