Those Winter Sundays By Robert Hayden And My Papa 's Waltz Essay

Those Winter Sundays By Robert Hayden And My Papa 's Waltz Essay

Length: 1318 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A Father’s Love
The poems “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden and “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke contain a multitude of different symbols, diction, and figurative language that contribute to the themes of the poems. Although the themes are not identical in the two poems, they contain a basic gist that unites the theme of love and admiration between child and father. The fathers in both poems are extremely similar, described with blue collar, industrial characteristics and a unique way of displaying affection. The theme of love in Hayden’s, “Those Winter Sundays” is similar to the theme of admiration in Roethke’s, “My Papa’s Waltz” in the sense of how a father and child relationship connects through love.
In “My Papa’s Waltz,” the speaker of the story is a little child of unknown gender that waltzes or as is revealed later on in the story, “romps” with his or her father in their kitchen. The mother watches on in disapproval as the child and the intoxicated father clumsily knock kitchen pans from shelves as the father’s belt buckle scrapes the young child’s ear with every misstep he takes. Soon, the battered and dirt-caked hands of the father direct the child to bed where the child clings to the father, not wanting to let go.
Theodore Roethke uses a multitude of symbols and word choice to convey the main themes associated in the poem. Some of the diction used in the text includes the description of the father’s hands. On line 10, the child refers to the knuckle on one of the father’s hands as “battered.” Two lines later, the child references the father’s hand as “a palm caked hard by dirt” (Roethke 791). These references to the father’s hands give the tone of wear and tear or even abuse. A constant hint of violence is m...


... middle of paper ...


...put to bed, the child still does not want to let go because the child admires and does not want to lose the father even when things are difficult like waltz. In “Those Winter Sundays,” the now-grownup child looks back and seems to regret the misconception of what he or she believed love was at the time. The speaker took the father for granted, never thanked him, and spoke indifferently to him but now understands the true meaning of love and that it was being displayed the child’s whole life through the actions of the father. The repetition and overall conclusion “What did I know, what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices?” in lines 13 and 14 gives a sense of the child in present time as a mature adult reconsidering and wishing that he or she had the opportunity to thank the father for the love he showed through his actions and obligation to love his child.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Theodore Roethke’s My Papa’s Waltz and Robert Hayden’s Those Winter Sundays

- Abuse is a difficult and sensitive subject that can have long lasting effects. These traumatic emotional effects are often intensified if the abuse happens at a young age because children do not understand why the abuse is happening or how to deal with it. There are many abuse programs set up to counter the severe effects which abuse can have. Even more, poets and writers all over the world contribute works that express the saddening events and force the public to realize it is much more real than the informative articles we read about....   [tags: My Papa’s Waltz]

Better Essays
1713 words (4.9 pages)

Comparing and Contrasting Theodore Roethke's My Papa's Waltz and Robert Hayden's Those Winter Sundays

- 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....   [tags: poetry, literary analysis]

Better Essays
1036 words (3 pages)

Comparing My Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke and Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

- Comparing "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke and "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden My Papa's Waltz, by Theodore Roethke, and Those Winter Sundays, by Robert Hayden, are two somewhat similar poems about respected fathers. To most people a father is not just the man who fertilizes their mother's egg, but a man that spends time with and takes care of them. While doing this, he gains their love and respect. In these two poems Roethke and Hayden take an admiring look back at the actions of their fathers, although; they both imply that their parents were not perfect....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Free Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)

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)

My Papa's Waltz, My Papa's Hat, Those Winter Sundays Essay

- A relationship is important to a father and son. The importance is acknowledging one another. Father and son relationships are important in the poems, “My Papa’s Waltz,” “Those Winter Sundays,” and “My Father’s Hat.” Theodore Roethke acknowledges his father’s love and attention in his poem, “My Papa’s Waltz.” Robert Hayden acknowledges his father in his poem, “Those Winter Sundays,” by recognizing his father’s hard work and sacrifice. Mark Irwin acknowledges his father in his poem, “My Father’s Hat.” The three poems acknowledge the fathers; however, the poems are different in their mood....   [tags: poems about fathers]

Better Essays
799 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on `` My Papa 's Waltz `` By Theodore Roethke And Those Winter Sundays

- Like Father, Like Son. Being a father is one thing, but being a father to a little boy that looks just like him is another beautiful thing. A father-son bond, relationship can be complex and diverse. Not every relationship is the same, this can depend on behavior or different thoughts and insights on things in life. Some father and their son are best of friends that they are one another’s best friend. Others are not so close and only talk once in awhile. Some see each other from time to time, while others do not even live in the same state....   [tags: Poetry, Sonnet, Iambic pentameter, Iamb]

Better Essays
1036 words (3 pages)

Essay about `` Those Winter Sundays `` And Theodore Roethke 's My Papa 's Waltz

- Love will always be there Robert Hayden 's "Those Winter Sundays" and Theodore Roethke 's "My Papa 's Waltz" distinctly captures the bond and the dynamic between the fathers and their sons interrelationships. For many people love is a very difficult feeling to express. Some express love through actions, while others through genuine feelings. Throughout the generations, the father figure performed many important roles in the family. He was the main breadwinner, protector, and a figure that a child will always look up too with trust and admiration....   [tags: Family, Poetry, Mother, Father]

Better Essays
1360 words (3.9 pages)

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 "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....   [tags: Compare Waltz Piano Essays Papers]

Better Essays
623 words (1.8 pages)

Analysis Of The Poem ' My Papa 's Waltz ' Essay

- There is always more to fathers Dan Brown rightly said that no love is greater than that of a father and a son. It’s not just flesh and mind but the hearts that connect a father and a son. “My papa’s Waltz”, by Theodore Roethke and “Those Winter Sundays”, by Robert Hayden, both describe the relationship between a father and a son. These poems share a common idea of revealing the relationship that the speakers share with their fathers and the poems simultaneously, offer a means of discovering and interpreting the setting, tone and theme among other elemental aspects of poetry....   [tags: Family, Poetry, Rhyme scheme, Rhyme]

Better Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on My Papa 's Waltz By Theodore Roethke

- Love is a very powerful force that it constantly being tested and tried. Through the power of devotion and commitment, it withstands many challenges. Love endures many types of situations as seen in the poems My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke, Living in Sin by Adrienne Rich, and Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden. In each of these poems a different situation arises and puts love to the ultimate test of survival. A common problem in the world today is domestic abuse. Many times the male of a household abuses the woman and children that they life with....   [tags: Abuse, Child abuse, Psychological abuse, Bullying]

Better Essays
1981 words (5.7 pages)