[Skip Navigation]

Plagiarist Poetry Sites: Plagiarist.com | Poetry X | Poetry Discussion Forums | Open Poetry Project | Joycean.org
Enter our Poetry Contest
Win Cash and Publication!

Visitors' Comments about:

My Papa's Waltz

Theodore Roethke

Add a new comment.

Added by: Ashley
This poem is about a memory of an older man looking back on his childhood and remember both fondly and resentfully on the memroy. The title suggests that this waltz was performed on a regular basis and that the poetic voice loved this special time with his father more than he didn't like it. Because at the end of the poem the poetic voice says that he clung to his father. It seems as if this was the only time that father and son had quality time together which suggests even further why the poetic voice views the waltz as both a fond and resentful memory in his eyes.
where does it say this is about a boy?
Added by: Wardialer
Not one of you can prove this poem is about a boy, because not one supporting detail from the poem suggests that it isn't a girl perhaps, or an alien, or a little fish? Wake up people Don't be blinded by a one sided story.

Added by: Irene
This poem, although at first glance may appear to be a poem about child abuse, is actually incredibly beautiful and loving. It is not about abuse of ANY kind, but about the young boy's love and dearness to his father. In fact, Theodore Roethke's father had died when he was 15, so it is entirely possible that this poem is reminiscing back to one of his special times with his father. If you read between the lines, and look at the connotation of the words, you will realize that the father is not abusive, but simple a laborer, a hard worker, who loves his son enough to spend time with him. The whiskey is not relating to abuse either-- in the early 1900s, many workers drank alcohol. All in all, this poem has a loving, intimate tone, and is not violent or abusive whatsoever.
Added by: Bubba Jones
At least some of you guys/gals are comin close to the actual subject. If you guys were seriously interested in this poem you would look into the background of the author, and your would find out that this poem is something from his past. He writes about late nights when his drunken slurring father would come home and in his drunk stumbling he would life of his son, and take him in some sort of a "Waltz." Hopefully now most of you guys will look at the authors now.
Added by: Ailene R. Herrick
I don't see how this could be mistaken for abuse at all...


(now is when he wonders.... "who the heck are YOU?"
In response to the 5/10/2002 comment...
Added by: An-on-ee-moose
This story is actually about a boy. That boy is Roethke himself. If you've done any research at all, you'll see that he mentions this in one of his biographies. His father Otto, somtimes, got drunk and performed dances (or waltzes) around the house (of course the mother disapproved as mentioned). He wrote this poem explaining one of those times.

Now don't you feel all better?
doesnt anyone know how to read litterally?
Added by: Alexis
hello! this poem is nothing about child abuse. its time our generation learns how to read literally and stop interpreting things and assuming! nor can we assume that the father is an alcoholic, yes he is drunk, but all we are told about is this one occasion, we dont know if it is a problem. but anyway...could someone please show me where this child is abused...come on now...i know every single one of us, when we were little, stood on our mommy's or daddy's feet as they danced around "holding our wrists" so we would fall backwards...every step they missed our ear hit their buckle because we were so short....our ear was their waist level..."you beat time on my head"...were not that young....im sure we all know the waltz beat.....i know my mom used to smak that babaloo beat(ricky ricardo) on my butt when i was little....when did that ever turn into abuse?
Added by: allison
i think it is sad that this is truely about a drunken father
Added by: Poetry Profesor at Duke Universi
Read Poetry litteraly? Why on earth would you do that? Poetry never was, and never will be written to be taken litteraly. You are SUPPOSED to interpret and assume things when reading poetry, that's what it is all about. The words in a poem are nothing more then a bridge to the underlying meaning/idea of a poem. Poems are not meant to be taken litteraly, but interpreted INTO ones own idea. You use the words and the poem holds different meaning for each individual person who reads it....that's what poetry is all about.
Added by: anonymous
I believe that this peom is about a boy fighting with his father because the father came home drunk.

» Add a new comment.

« Return to the poem page.