At first, by reading the title of the poem My Papa’s Waltz theme, the negative opinion related to the poem is formed. The writer Theodore Roethke inspirationally re-created the childhood happenstance with his own father, but he also tries to understand the actual meaning of this relationship that exists between father and son. Because of the few words in the poem, it’s understandable why people created an adverse opinion related to the poem.
Further good critical thinking and the interpretation of My Papa’s Waltz allows individual readers to know better what Theodore Roethke really mean and want to convey through this poem. In the starting line of this poem “The whiskey on your breath” is expressive enough to create the image in mind of the readers that the man (father) is drunk. The other worlds like “Could make the small boy dizzy” moreover exemplify the heavy drinking of a man. It’s not right practice when the drunk adult presents herself or himself to the kid. The poem interpreted as the portrayal of the kid’s experience of the abuse or beating from his father (Roethke).
Poem: My papa’s waltz analysis
“I hung on like the death” convey the terrible feeling of the kid that he experienced while facing the drunken father. Here the word death is used to highlight the weakness of the kid contrary to his drunken father. Without a doubt, the kid waltzing with the drunken father is the difficult chore as defined in the poem line “Such waltzing is not easy”.
My Papa’s Waltz theme reflects that waltzing with the drunken father is unsuitable and causing the disruption and impose a negative impact on the behavior and the growth of the kids. The poem also shows that the mother is also unhappy by this situation and his husband drinking but not able to do anything to stop this because she is weak. It also reflects that the drunken father battered the kids like from the word buckle that is used in the poem it reflects that the father was beat the kid with the belt.
The writer used the attractive words to present the scene that it grasps the attention of the readers and also explain them the situation in a virtuous manner. By the words, it’s observed that the waltz is one kind of violent act. This waltz that is used in the poem is not the joyful one but the bad experience of the kid with his drunken father who abuses him during his drunken position (Roethke).
The poem portrays the sad attitude and somewhat sarcastic tone, proposing that the individuals remembering their childhood is precarious of their fathers. The roughness, the whiskey smell and the reckless, unkind action of their fathers were criticized and scrutinized in the poem. But there exists another reflection of the poem that indicates the different track of the philosophies. The poem conveys the other message that is contrary to the initial impression of the poem. The other explanation of the writer suggests the dance.