The events of our childhood and interactions with our parents is an outline of our views as parents ourselves. Although Robert Hayden’s relationship with his father differentiates from the relationship of Theodore Roethke and his father, they are both pondering back to their childhood and expressing the events in a poem. “My Papa’s Waltz” and “Those winter Sundays” provide the reader with an image of a childhood event which states how fathers are being viewed by their children. These poems reflect upon the relationship of the father and child when the child was a youth. Both Roethke and Hayden both indicate that their fathers weren’t perfect although they look back admiringly at their fathers’ actions. To most individuals, a father is a man that spends time with and takes care of them which gains him love and respect. An episode of Roethke’s childhood is illustrated in “My Papa’s Waltz”. In “My Papa’s Waltz”, the father comes home showing signs of alcohol and then begins waltzing with his son. Roethke states that the father’s hands are “battered on one knuckle”. The mother was so upset about the dancing that she did nothing other than frown. At the end of the day, the father waltzed the son to bed. “Those Winter Sundays” is based on a regular Sunday morning. The father rises early to wake his family and warm the house. To warm the house, he goes out in the cold and splits wood to start a fire. This is a poem about an older boy looking back to his childhood and regretting that “No one ever thanked him.” In Those Winter Sundays'; by Robert Hayden, the poet also relinquishes on a regular occurrence in his childhood. On Sunday mornings, just as any other morning, his father rises early and puts on his clothes in the cold darkness. He ... ... middle of paper ... ... Explicator 51.4 (1993): 245. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. Janssen, Ronald R. "Roethke's MY PAPA's WALTZ." Explicator 44.2 (1986): 43. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. McKenna, John J. "Roethke's Revisions and the Tone of `My Papa's Waltz.'." Anq 11.2 (1998): 34. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. Moore, Harry. “Offices of Love”: A New Look At the Ending of Hayden's THOSE WINTER SUNDAYS." Explicator 69.2 (2011): 56-59. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. H.R. Swardson, “The Use of the Word Mistaken in the Teaching of Poetry.” ADE Bulletin 91 (Winter 1988): 4-5 Kennedy, X.J.; Gioia, Dana. “My Papa’s Waltz.” Backpack Literature. Fourth Edition. Terry, Joe. 2012. Longman, 2012. 393-394. Print. Gioia, Dana; Kennedy, X.J. “Those Winter Sundays.” Backpack Literature. Fourth Edition. Terry, Joe. 2012. Longman, 2012. 382. Print.
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My Papa’s Waltz has been compared to a generational litmus test. Depending on what generation the reader was born, could determine how the reader would interpret this poem. Each generation has its own views that have been developed in them for the language used to describe Papa in this poem. The whiskey on his breath and Papa’s hand beating on his head, both sound like a negative connotation. Depending on the experience of the reader, they can either be disturbed by these words or be drawn in closer to the poem. Theodore Roethke loved his father. Not only did he love him, but he idolized him and unfortunately lost him at an early age. This poem is a reflective memorial waltz written in iambic trimeter to honor his father and mother.
While most of us think back to memories of our childhood and our relationships with our parents, we all have what he would call defining moments in our views of motherhood or fatherhood. It is clearly evident that both Theodore Roethke and Robert Hayden have much to say about the roles of fathers in their two poems as well. While the relationships with their fathers differ somewhat, both men are thinking back to a defining moment in their childhood and remembering it with a poem. "My Papa's Waltz" and "Those Winter Sundays" both give the reader a snapshot view of one defining moment in their childhood, and these moments speak about the way these children view their fathers. Told now years later, they understand even more about these moments.
“Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden, “My Father as a Guitar” by Martin Espada, and “Digging” by Seamus Heaney are three poems that look into the past of the authors and dig up memories of the authors fathers. The poems contain similar conflicts, settings, and themes that are essential in helping the reader understand the heartfelt feelings the authors have for their fathers. With the authors of the three poems all living the gust of their life in the 1900’s, their biographical will be similar and easier to connect with each other.
In his recollection, Roethke's father comes home drunk after a hard day of work. The young boy and his father decide to partake in a little dance. While waltzing, the two get a little rambunctious with each other. As a result, some people view this poem with a disdainful-like perception and suppose Theodore wrote the poem with dark thoughts in mind. Rather, despite his father's drunkenness, the young Theodore enjoyed every second of it. There is a strong bond between them that upon careful examination, one can clearly understand in the poem "My Papa's Waltz."
Inevitability at one point in most of our lives we have to deal with some type of hardship. A lot of us have experienced first hand or known someone who has had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a close friend or family member who becomes abusive and aggressive because of drug or alcohol related problems. My Papa’s waltz is a poem that tells the story of a young boy dealing with an abusive father and a broken home. Despite the initial light atmosphere of the poem Theodore Roethke uses strong and powerful language to convey an underlined meaning to their dance. My Papa's Waltz is a poem of fear, all the more horrible because the boy is terrified and hurt by his father, even in play, yet he clings and hangs to him showing how strong he is despite his age and through his actions he illustrates his love and patience for his troubled father.
Roethke, Theodore. "My Papa's Waltz." Literature and the Writing Process. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X Day, and Robert Funk. 6th edition. Upper Saddle River. New Jersey: Prentice 2002. 435.
Ultimately, the subject of “ My Papa’s Waltz” has spurred a passionate academic debate from professors, scholars, and students alike, the imagery, syntax, diction of the poem clearly support the interpretation that Theodore Roethke wrote “ My Papa’s Waltz” to illustrate on a past memory of his drunk and abusive father. The controversy of the poem itself is whether it is a good or bad memory. The use of negative imagery, syntax, and diction support this. Overall, with the explanation of the poem and the use of syntax, diction and imagery “ My Papa’s Waltz” was about Theodore Roethke’s drunk and abusive
The father in “My Papa’s Waltz” is portrayed by the narrator as one who neglects his responsibilities of ensuring safety and being a positive role model. Using many examples and implying this through writing techniques, the narrator represents the father in a way other than a loving dad. Despite the use of certain words such as “papa” and “waltz,” the overall connotation represented throughout the poem seems to concentrate more heavily on the negative aspects of the narrator’s memories. For these reasons, one can conclude that the poem aims to illuminate the immaturity and irresponsibility of the
Gallagher, Ann M. "Hayden's 'Those Winter Sundays.' (Robert Hayden)." The Explicator 51.4 (1993): 245+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
A father can play many roles throughout a child’s life: a caregiver, friend, supporter, coach, protector, provider, companion, and so much more. In many situations, a father takes part in a very active position when it comes to being a positive role model who contributes to the overall well-being of the child. Such is the case for the father in the poem “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden. In this poem, readers are shown the discreet ways in which a father can love his child. On the other hand, there are also many unfortunate situations where the fathers of children are absent, or fail to treat the children with the love and respect that they undoubtedly deserve. In the contrasting poem “Like Riding a Bicycle” by George Bilgere, readers are shown how a son who was mistreated by his drunken father is affected by their past relationship many years later. Although both of these poems have fairly similar themes and literary techniques, they each focus on contradicting situations based on the various roles a father can play in a child’s life.
Although the dance between him and his father was rough and aggressive, the very fact that Roethke chose to write about the waltz indicates that it is a special moment he remembers sharing with his father. The poet has a remarkable ability to describe the moment and not his feelings. This is what makes "My Papa's Waltz" so interesting and leaves so much to interpretation.
In his poem, “My Papa’s Waltz,” Theodore Roethke, an award-winning and critically acclaimed poet, emphasizes the strong bond between a father and his son by describing a drunken father dancing in the kitchen with his young son. Unfortunately, when Roethke was only fourteen, his father passed away from cancer and his uncle committed suicide. Although these events are tragic, they impacted Roethke deeply and influenced his works, especially “My Papa’s Waltz” (CITE). Through his use of diction, style, and imagery in “My Papa’s Waltz,” Roethke effectively supports the theme of a child’s admiration for his parents.
The mood of the poem, “Those Winter Sundays,” written by Robert Hayden is regretful. The poet describes a cold winter Sunday morning staying in bed until the house is warm. The poet expressed sympathy for his father who got up early on a cold Sunday morning...