Childhood Memories in My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke and Piano by D.H. Lawrence

Childhood Memories in My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke and Piano by D.H. Lawrence

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Childhood Memories in "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke and "Piano" by D.H. Lawrence


"My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke and "Piano" by D.H. Lawrence are two poems in which grown men recall memories of their childhood. "My Papa's Waltz" has a quietly sad, almost resigned tone as Roethke relives his nightly dances with his father as a young boy. Lawrence's "Piano" is somewhat dreamy as a man is taken back by a song to his childhood. While both are presented to us through similar personas, striking differences are apparent throughout the two poems.

"My Papa's Waltz" is the pensive recollection of a boy's nightly waltz around the house in the arms of his father. Roethke's poem gives a voice to the often silent internal conflict that the children of addicts struggle with. The sad resignation of the young boy is solidified early on in the poem. In the first stanza Roethke sets a tone of both pain and loyalty with the line, "But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy" (479). "My Papa's Waltz" provides readers with the opportunity to see life through the eyes of...

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