My Papa’s Waltz is about abuse. It tells the story of a little girl being abused by her father, but I never knew that until someone told me. My papa’s waltz was just a song that meant nothing to me growing up. My dad would sing it to me all of the time, and I loved every minute of it! When people first started telling me what this song was really about my reaction was disbelief and confusion. I thought that they were just trying to ruin my favorite childhood song!
My papa has always been an extremely important role in my life, and when I found out that he might have hurt me when I was younger, even if only for a short period, it hurt me. My Papa’s Waltz is one of those songs that seems to have a different meaning for each person who hears it. My meaning was innocent and pure , but eventually I found out what others thought My Papa’s Waltz meant, and now coming from their perspective the song has lost its innocence for me as well. My papa’s waltz may seem like a happy song, but after learning about its true meaning, his waltz holds a whole new level of sadness and pain for me.
My Papa’s Waltz begins with “In our house/upstairs/my papa hurts my mama/downstairs/and listens carefully/for footfalls/ in the hallway/outside his door. ” My papa hurting my mama and listening for footfalls in the hallway outside his door makes me think about how it is illegal to physically abuse someone, but emotionally abuse someone you are supposed to love is just as bad if not worse! My Papa hurting my mama also makes me think of how tough she had to have been for him to be so horrible to her knowing that she was going to go home with him after he finished work each day.
Who doesn’t love a good waltz? My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke is lovely to read and hear. But the poem is not as universally loved as one might expect because it contains hints of child abuse, rather than characterizing this dance between father and daughter with the magical memory of Roethke’s own childhood waltzes. My Papa’s Waltz is often controversial for many reasons, but especially if people believe that the speaker is still under her father’s control or living in fear of his impending return.
My Papa’s Waltz has also been received negatively whenever readers feel that they know about Roethke’s own life and see My Papa’s Waltz as a personal exploration of Roethke abusing his child. My Papa’s Waltz is an incredibly difficult poem to understand because it allows readers to imagine themselves in the speaker’s shoes, yet when they do so, they encounter a lot of confusion about what they should feel when My Papa’s Waltz comes to a close. My Papa’s Waltz was written after Theodore Roethke moved from his childhood home and family, where he lived with his father until his death.
My Papa’s Waltz is not autobiographical but rather reflects on painful memories by using poetic language that avoids scientific facts or literal truths. My Papa’s Waltz explores how memory can be distorted but also how it can be powerful. My Papa’s Waltz touches on many themes including memory, love, pain, and fear. My Papa’s Waltz also focuses on the idea of family traditions that are passed down from generation to generation in very messy ways. My Papa’s Waltz is about Roethke’s struggle with his fractured memories due to an abusive childhood.
My Papa’s Waltz is a painful look through the lens of adult eyes at what was once happy in youth but is now interpreted in a negative light. My Papa’s Waltz contradicts itself in places where the speaker describes his father as being controlling yet later says that she has no memory of him ever being violent. My Papa’s Waltz also contains the idea that the person remembering is struggling to reconcile his childhood with his adult experience and worldview.
My Papa’s Waltz is a poem by Theodore Roethke and it reflects on the author’s struggle with an abusive childhood through poetic language without focusing too much on literal details. Readers should be aware of how My Papa’s Waltz can be interpreted as autobiographical, fictional, or as pure poetry that does not reflect actual events or thoughts from Theodore Roethke’s life. My Papa’s Waltz contains cases where memories are seen as reliable but also unreliable at different points in the text. My Papa’s Waltz contains several important motifs that can help readers understand the structure and purpose of the poem.
My Papa’s Waltz is an exploration of memory as a powerful yet dangerous thing that hurts those who experience it. My Papa’s Waltz includes many examples of poetic devices such as rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance, simile, metaphor, personification, synecdoche, caesura, anaphora, and repetition. My Papa’s Waltz also contains themes including family traditions passed down from generation to generation in sometimes negative ways which can also be seen as a manifestation of psychological damage within families.
My Papa’s Waltz is written in the first-person point of view because it is told from the speaker’s perspective. My Papa’s Waltz includes self-image, sexual identity, and mental health as themes that can help readers understand My Papa’s Waltz in a deeper way. My Papa’s Waltz contains several references to things like fishing (Roethke was also an avid fisherman) and other actions which help readers relate this poem to Theodore Roethke’s life. My Papa’s Waltz contains examples of personification when the narrator says “I hate it more than I can say” (17).
My Papa’s Waltz can be interpreted in different ways that can help or hurt the reader’s understanding of My Papa’s Waltz. My Papa’s Waltz contains many examples of alliteration including “bending over backward to see it their way, stubborn silence while smiling at me” (6-7). My Papa’s Waltz also uses assonance when referring to “the laughter of strangers, grown silent so often in my childhood days” (36-37). My Papa’s Waltz includes anaphora by using “and yet and yet and yet” (16) which helps readers further understand the poem.
Many assume My Papa’s Waltz is a song about a man who abuses his daughter. In My Papa’s Waltz, Theodore Roethke presents the perspective of a little girl whose father comes home drunk and dances with her. Many assume My Papa’s Waltz is a song about a man who abuses his daughter. My Papa’s Waltz isn’t exactly an ode to an abusive father, but it’s not the sweet story that many children have grown up believing it to be either. My Papa’s Waltz was written in 1953 by Theodore Roethke .
The poem concerns itself with the thoughts and feelings of a young girl watching her drunken father dance with her. While My Papa’s Waltz is definitely not an ode to an abusive father, it certainly doesn’t paint the picture of a healthy or stable home life. My papa’s waltz My papa came home tonight and he was feeling fine; He hugged me like he used to and he kissed my mother’s brow; “I’ve brought some candy for you children,” but I got that only after My papa went upstairs and he staggered into bed; My mama said she guessed his friend would have to take him home.