My Papa’s Waltz - Battered Knuckles Essays

My Papa’s Waltz - Battered Knuckles Essays

Length: 688 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

My Papa’s Waltz - Battered Knuckles   

Many people look back on memories with a pleasant slant. A backpacker may love to go to the mountains, but every time that person ventures out he encounters a blizzard. The weather is not always conducive to the backpacker and can cause great discomfort. However, when the hiker returns to his normal routine he usually forgets about the bad experience so that he can continue loving the mountains and happily plan his next adventure. Similarly, Theodore Roethke's, "My Papa's Waltz" is a poem about a man who tries to make a horrible event into something much more pleasant to think about. The speaker seems to be remembering back to his childhood and finally uncovers dark memories about his father. The child in the poem finally realizes that childhood was full of scary nights in which he sometimes feared for his life. The speaker has tried for years to believe that he loved his father, but he finally understands what really happened in his boyhood home.

The speaker in this poem begins by commenting on how much his father drinks. The father ...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Love Found Within Battered Knuckles and Cracked Hands

- ... As Roethke describes the dance shared between a father and his son, the narrator creates a scene full of affectionate memories. The narrator provides a child-like glimpse back into a time shared between a father and his son as they danced across the kitchen floor. Throughout the poem, images of a hard-working father are created as Roethke writes of the roughness of the father’s hand that are “battered on one knuckle” (10) and “a palm caked hard by dirt” (14). As the father and son “romped” (5) in the middle of the kitchen despite the mother’s “countenance” (7), the vision of the father’s affectionate, carefree and fun relationship with his son is a cherished memory to the narrator....   [tags: My Papa's Waltz, Those Winter Sundays]

Better Essays
693 words (2 pages)

Essay Misinterpretations of a Waltz in My Papa’s Waltz

- "Misinterpretations of a Waltz" in My Papa’s Waltz   "We romped until the pans / Slid from the kitchen shelf" (5-6). In numerous poems different readers vista a variety of ways to interpret what poems actually mean. This is very much true in Theodore Roethke's poem "My Papa's Waltz." The quote mentioned has caused many misconceptions about what the poem; "My Papa's Waltz" actually refers to. The two superior interpretations of critics are that Roethke's poem describes abuse or a dance. The abuse seems much more apparent in "My Papa's Waltz" because of the language that Roethke uses....   [tags: My Papa's Waltz Essays]

Better Essays
656 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Desperate Love in My Papa’s Waltz

- Desperate Love in My Papa’s Waltz Angry words, punches, and belt buckles each may be thrown when a drunken parent becomes frustrated with his or her child. On the other hand, alcohol can also cause people to exuberantly sing or dance. In the poem "My Papa’s Waltz", Theodore Roethke describes the latter situation in a literal sense. However, a closer look at Roethke’s choice of words, the poem’s imagery, emotions, and irony reveals a painful and confusing encounter between a boy and his drunken Papa....   [tags: My Papa's Waltz Essays]

Better Essays
727 words (2.1 pages)

My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke Essay

- ... While the father and the son are playing around dancing they are also messing up the house as well. Messing up the kitchen will make any mother mad and that is what happens next. Of out any other place in the house the kitchen is the woman’s throne room. “The hand that held my wrist was battered on one knuckle; at every step you missed my right ear scraped a buckle (Roethke).” In lines 9-12 you can tell that the father has came back from a long day of work. The father’s job has to be doing something with his hands because of the battered knuckles....   [tags: poem review]

Better Essays
572 words (1.6 pages)

Essay about My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke

- ... This gives us yet another spin on our emotions. This pattern is repeated throughout this poem, and the waltz soon spins fast out of control to a point where we can only focus on the sequence of whirling emotion rather than coherent overall feelings. This leads to the positive and negative reading. On the positive note, it shows a hardworking father who returns from work and playfully dances with his son that he loves before taking him to bed. The whiskey on his breath is not necessarily negative due to the factors of the working class culture in 1948 when this poem was published....   [tags: poem analysis, drunken father]

Better Essays
684 words (2 pages)

My Papa 's Waltz By Theodore Roethke Essay

- Theodore Roethke was born on May 25th, 1908. He grew up in Saginaw, Michigan and had a close relationship with his father. Following his father 's death, Roethke wrote many poems about family life. Many believe that “My Papa’s Waltz” is based on true experiences. It was written during the 1940s and differs from most poems. The title of “My Papa’s Waltz” reveals a lot about the contents of the poem. “My” explains the personal relationship told within the story. “Papa’s” shows innocence because this name is common for children to use when speaking about their fathers....   [tags: Poetry, Family, Rhyme, Stanza]

Better Essays
1109 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on My Papa 's Waltz By Theodore Roethke

- The poem, My Papa’s Waltz, by Theodore Roethke surrounds the relationship between a father and child as they spend time together before bed by dancing. Roethke references the waltz with clever wordplay and symbolism surrounding time, rhythm and beats. In addition, he sets the poem to a ¾ time, the same beat as a traditional waltz. In the poem, the narrator’s viewpoint is that of a small child who shows endearment for his father by clinging to him despite his own physical discomfort and the disapproval of his mother....   [tags: Metropolitana di Napoli, Osaka Municipal Subway]

Better Essays
736 words (2.1 pages)

My Papa 's Waltz By Theodore Roethke Essay

- “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke is a representation of the journey toward reconciliation of the love and the fear that the speaker, a young boy, has for his father, and is an extended metaphor for the way that we balance the good and bad in our lives. Whilst reading this poem it is impossible to determine definitively whether it is truly about a dance or if the speaker is actually being abused. However, I don’t believe that it really matters either way. Actually, I believe it is this ambiguity and push and pull between the two extremes that creates the overall sense of struggle that comes with the reconciliation of the facets of the father and son’s relationship....   [tags: Poetry, Rhyme, English-language films]

Better Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on My Papas Waltz

- Revealing Child Abuse in “My Papa’s Waltz” In Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz,” the persona reveals an incidence of child abuse that happened earlier in his life. He divulges the occurrence of abuse through the use of certain words and noting the actions that go on during the “waltz.” Through the use of graphic diction, Roethke informs the reader that “My Papa’s Waltz” depicts an episode of child abuse. The persona Roethke creates discloses the incidence of child abuse to the reader by using particular words in his poem....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
557 words (1.6 pages)

Imagery in My Papa’s Waltz Essay examples

- Imagery in My Papa’s Waltz   Donald Hall describes the use of imagery in poetry as a device that "makes us more sensitive to [literature], as if we acquired eyes that could see through things"(p 530). Imagery creates vivid details that deal with one's sense of sight, sound, touch, smell, or taste. These details can be seen in Theodore Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz" because the senses of touch, sight, sound, and smell appeal to the reader in order to better explain the feelings of each character in the poem....   [tags: My Papa's Waltz Essays]

Better Essays
703 words (2 pages)