“My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke

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“My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke. is an challenging verse form about a memory of a male child and his male parent waltzing around the house. The ambiguity in this verse form can take to two really different readings. It can be seen as a kid terrorized by an opprobrious male parent or a kid holding a playful runaway with his male parent before bedtime. In this verse form. Roethke uses metaphors. similes. imagination. and construction to do a strong feeling on the reader. In the beginning. the talker shows that he might non be holding as much merriment with the walk-in as he would hold thought. “But I hung on like decease: / Such waltzing was non easy. ” ( line 4 ) . Since the male child must hang on “like death” . it shows that the walk-in is non merely “not easy” . This line is besides an illustration of a simile. The male child is hanging onto his male parent so hard that he is every bit ineluctable as decease. If the walk-in in the verse form is thought of as an drawn-out metaphor for the relationship between the male child and his male parent. the boy could be composing that his full relationship with his male parent wasn’t easy.

As the verse form goes on. the walk-in bit by bit gets more and more hard every bit good as his relationship with his male parent. In the 3rd stanza. the male parent keeps losing stairss and scratches the male child in the procedure. This could besides be a metaphor for all of the errors that the male parent has made in existent life which could ache the male child in intangible ways every bit good. By utilizing imagination in this verse form. Roethke helps the reader to link with the male child. One usage of imagination in the verse form is when the male child and the male parent “romp” around the kitchen. The word runaway means to play approximately or energetically. The reader can see here that non merely tha “My Papa’s Waltz” has a simple rhyme strategy of ABAB.

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Although the rhyme strategy helps with the flow of the verse form. there are many slant rimes that disrupt the flow every bit good. For illustration the word “dizzy” sounds really similar to “easy” but they are non perfect rimes. Roethke besides writes this verse form in an iambic trimeter. Similar to the iambic pentameter which has a authoritative five beats per line. each line in the verse form consists of three beats. Not merely is the verse form about a walk-in. but it is going one every bit good since there are three beats in a walk-in. This contributes to how a individual reads the verse form every bit good as the tone of the verse form.

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“My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke. (2017, Aug 14). Retrieved from


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