Papa Waltz

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“My Papa’s Waltz” is a poem that has both negative and positive meaning about it. No one on Earth is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, this is the case in the poem, “My Papa’s Waltz”. The poem tells of a father who is an alcoholic. The son is telling the poem of as the recalls his father being an alcoholic and later him understanding everything. Looking at the poem through a formalist approach help show how the positive and negative connotations reflect the young boys torn feeling towards his father. When first reading the poem, I thought that the son loved his father no matter what. My eyes were drawn to the positive connotations such as “but he hung on like death”, which explained how even through the father smelled of whiskey the son still held on to him. The word “romped” is connotates “play”, which shows how the father and son play together. The title “My Papa’s Waltz” plays a significant part to the poem. When I looked the word waltz it was defined as a walk in that assured victory. After reading the definition of the waltz, I began to believe that the father was victorious in his son life, no matter what his mistakes were. After reading the poem a second time I came across some negative connotations, such as the description of the father. The word “battered” is use to describe the fathers had hands. The word battered tells of how the father had where like working hand or either it was injured in some kind of way. In the third stanza, the author tells of how of how his right ear is scraped against a buckle. The thing that took be by the most surprise with is whole poem is the boy only tells of his father being drunk, so this must have played a big part in his life. “My Papa’s Waltz” is a poem that I enjoyed reading a lot, because it let me see both the negative and positive sides all in one poem. Roethke showed that even though a father does wrong things he can still be loved, but it’s something that he will remember forever....
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