My Papa's Waltz By Roethke

739 Words3 Pages
In the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Roethke, the initial form of the way the poem is set up is normal relative to other poems of this time. Also, in terms of flow and progression in the poem, nothing seems incredibly out of the ordinary. However on the topic of structure and the physical way it is written, this may be a cause for notice in the mind of the reader. This idea that the way it is scribed on paper may give us more on the motive of the poem itself, is key to understanding that in the poem, structure informs content. In short this means that the way Roethke wrote this poem actually gives us more meaning to inside the poem. In the very literal level of reading, which would be our first views on the poem, we see a father playing with a young child. His son to be exact, and we know they are playing due to the word “romped” on line five. According to the Oxford Classical Dictionary, to “romp” is to “play roughly and energetically”. If we look even more…show more content…
Words like “waltz”, a word that is to refer to a fun dance between two amongst perhaps a social gathering, which is used once in the actual title of the poem and then twice within, and a word like “romp” which is to mean an incredibly jubilant source of playfulness and exasperation, are used to imply a fun and positive feeling within the poem. What may also come up as a side note to the positive connotation thought is to say that line like “but I hung on like death” are not as demeaning as they appear. To hang on like death is to hang on to something like you will never let it go. Perhaps he was enjoying his time with his father so much he didn’t want to go to bed so he was hanging on. Also another interpretation of the way that word is used is perhaps the father is deceased and that is a very nice memory he has of him and his father so to “hang on like death” is Roethke’s way of saying he will remember his father’s time on earth as long as he
Open Document