Meter and rhythm described in my papa's waltz.

Essay by SecretAngel November 2003

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My Papa's Waltz" In Theodor Roethke's "My Papa's waltz" the

reader finds a horrid experiance, the beating of a child by his father,

which is told in a way of a romantic and beutifull dance - the waltz. The

feeling one get from reading this poem is that the narrator, at least at

the time in which the poem is written, does not look at this experience as

something bad. He tries to beutify the experience by making it a waltz. He

also, by means of images and rythem, shows the conflict between the

readers, or the way any other 'normal' man will look at this experiance,

and how he sees it, or wants it to be seen ( although he does not show his

father as completley innocent). It can also be looked upon as the Petty

Herst syndrom - meaning having a 'reality' so intense and strong that one

feels incapable of any other 'reality', fearing it can and will be worse.

The poem is built of four stanzas( quatrain ), each consisting of

four lines. The rhyme scheme is, in the first stanza - abab, in the second

- cdcd, in the third - efef, and in the fourth - ghgh. The meter is

trecet iamb ( stressed unstressed - three times per line ). The

central image in the poem is the metaphor in which the beatings are

described as a waltz. The poet is led around the house, dancing - not

beaten around. Which is also brought throu by the meter - trecet iamb -

the beat of the waltz, thus the main image is shown through the meter as

well, giving the reader more of the feeling of a dance in contrast to the

'secondery images' which are more...