"My Papa's Waltz" Poem Explication

Essay by fishiekissie06High School, 12th gradeA+, March 2006

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Title: The title signifies that this author, Theodore Roethke, see a close family member of his family, like his father, intoxicated that the waltz dance brings out the humorous side to him. This dance prepares the family for the worst because this it is seen so much.

Paraphrase: The smell on your breath can affect a child; but I would never give in for it wasn't easy. We frolicked so much pans slide from the shelf; my mom didn't have much tolerance to put up with this. Part of you was injured but every thing I did somehow it was a mistake. You never let me forget because we were God, and then took me to bed because I was forever yours.

Connotation: "My Papa's Waltz" presents similes, metaphors, and personification. An example of a simile would be, "But I held on like death." The author means that he could never let go he is so desperate.

A personification example would be, "My mother's countenance could not un-frown itself." By this the author means that even tolerance can't handle such a person when they are under the influence. The author provides very brief words throughout the poem to quickly get his poem's meaning across to the reader.

Speaker's Attitude: The speaker evokes sympathy as they read the poem. What evokes such a tone could possibly be the mood. The mood of this poem is sad and pitiful. Words in the poem give this feeling to the reader. Some would be "battered on one knuckle," "un-frown," and "death." Such a word gives off a vibe of what the mood is therefore resulting in the tone of the speaker.

Shifts: There are very minimal tense shifts if any. The poem begins sad because it talks of Whiskey on someone's breath but as...