Reading and Writing is all around you. You just have to learn how to control those special elements, or gifts that are given to you.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Responce to "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not un-frown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt

Looking at it once, its about a boy playing around with his dad. or "dancing" as he says. In one aspect, you could say that the father is just playing with his kid and they are being crazy, "We romped until the pans/Slid from the kitchen shelf" what it is directly saying there, is that the child is playing or rough housing whit his dad. But why would the mother be mad? "My mother's countenance could not un-frown itself"... that made me think, why would she be just standing there?? If they were rough housing as the poems direct paraphrasing suggests, then she might be mad about them destroying or making the kitchen a mess. But as i think about it, the back part of my mind is saying 'child abuse'. 

My point of view is that it depends on how you look at it. In what settings you put it in. on one point of view, (as i stated above) he is just probably dancing with his father and being careless. 
But... (there's always a but) in the last stanza it says, "you beat time on my head"... Hitting?? Yeah i think so... In the context of child abuse it is quite simple, hitting this child using the excuse of hiding it behind music. 

Another thing that made me think of child abuse was the wording that this poem used such as "but i hung on like death" i mean, why use the word Death?? it is strong word to use. I mean, for adults its fine. But lets not forget that in this case the narrator sounds like a child and that seems to be a word that can be used very heavily.  

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