Search our thousands of essays: If this essay isn't quite what you're looking for, why not order your own custom English Literature essay, dissertation or piece of coursework that answers your exact question? The father is an active manly character and a role model for his young son. In the poem, the father appears as a god-like giant to his son. The answer is yes and no. Seager, Allan, The Glass House: The Life of Theodore Roethke, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co. She is not a mute witness to child abuse. In this case, the waltz is not a bonding time between a father and his son.
The father is obviously drunk, and the fact that the boy hung on like death does not suggest to me a positive experience. The narrator is the child. As the poem goes on, the waltz gradually gets more and more difficult as well as his relationship with his father. Intent on using poetry as a tool for describing the rhythms of emotions, Roethke did not fear the intellect so much as distrust it. The household was of a calm nature; family members knew their duty.
I love how poetry can be interpreted differently depending on the person who reads the poem. This poem is actually not meant to have any dark or abusive meaning to it. Why did the poet choose these words? In the present case, those who maintain a balance between joy and fear in the poem give equal weight to both emotions. This is a very complex and wonderful poem. This is just my interpretation, feel free to take from it what you want! The following essay will present a detailed analysis of the dramatic situation and speaker through the explanations of the various poetic tools used in this poem such as similes, choice of words and style. Bloom, Harold, editor, Theodore Roethke, New York: Chelsea House, 1988. Readers either interpret the poem as telling the happy memory of a little boy playing with his father or as describing a scene of child abuse.
If that doesn't convince you then how about, ' my right ear scraped a buckle. I attended Arthur Hill High School just as he had, but not at the same time. Was it to highlight the contrast in behaviour of the mother and father? Moving on to Bennington College in Vermont, Roethke continued to produce poetry and became well known in the literary community. The theme of this poem was the ambiguous nature of family relationships. The first stanza sets the scene with clear imagery.
This is of course open to discussion. He recalls that he had to hang on tight and that it was not easy for him to hold on to his father during this waltz. Upon first glance, the tone is humorous. At first glance it appears to be a simple four stanza work but a closer look at these 16 lines will reveal much more. Later on the child is ' still clinging' to the father's shirt as they go dancing off to bed. Daddy's had a little too much whiskey, and now he's waltzing around the kitchen with his son.
Within this first stanza is more than just dueling perspectives. He had several bouts of depression and mental instability during the 1930s but eventually overcame them. World capitals lay in ruins and once-dominant nations were exhausted. These hurts introduce a note of pain. On May 25, 1908, Theodore Roethke was born in Saginaw, Michigan. Consequently, the reader has the liberty of reading dueling perspectives: the memory of the event from an adult perspective along side the innocent point of view of a child who inevitably admires his father. .
Over a half-century ago, poet Theodore Roethke wrote of a frolic between a father and his son. Or do you fear for both him and his mother? His poetry borders on the confessional but isn't in the same league as say, Robert Lowell or Anne Sexton. In the beginning, the speaker shows that he might not be having as much fun with the waltz as he would have thought. This word is used, often, to fathers which with one has a special relationship, a certain love. For instance, one may assume that an abundance of drinking has occurred; however, it could merely have been one single glass.
He didn't drink to hide his pain, but just to have the taste and relish the feeling of being slightly woozy. Roethke followed his father around as he worked and idolized him. However, if the reader thought that the poem was simply a playful dance between the father and son, this line could just be thought of as the father dancing his son down the hall and off to bed. The last two stanzas continue to describe the abuse or dance that is taking place between the father and son. The reader could assume that the waltz could describe the relationship between the father and son. Following the lead of H.
He could also, however, desire to remain close or in contact with his father out of a sense of great attachment, refusing to abandon the connection he feels. Illustrates the use of the waltz in the poem. Some people think that this poem is one of a happy exchange between a father and son. When first read it, it appears the young boy is afraid of his father. What should have been easy was hard. It explains how his father is intoxicated and the scene that goes along with it, using the word waltz to describe it. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt.