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It also connotes the father’s nature of work in the greenhouse. It exemplifies how the dance movement that is symbolic had at once entered their daily routine.
And though critics mention that -“Roethke expresses resentment for his father” in the poem, it is not so.
My Papa's Waltz" In Theodor Roethke's "My Papa's waltz" thereader finds a horrid experiance, the beating of a child by his father,which is told in a way of a romantic and beutifull dance - the waltz.
Thefeeling one get from reading this poem is that the narrator, at least atthe time in which the poem is written, does not look at this experience assomething bad.The poet’s attitude towards his alcoholic father is one that he accepts with all its nuances.The reckless father’s conduct though uninviting in general, is acceptable to the poet. The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy.The mother bore this act with great endurance and yet her countenance “Could not unfrown itself.”The hand that once held his wrist firmly and guided him, came across as “battered on one knuckle.” His rollicking stance does not allow him to be gentle.Though he tries, the alcohol takes its toll on him. Nevertheless, the child clings onto the carousing father, as he finds his closeness the most secure thing in the world; as if desperately holding on to dear life.Firstly, the poet ends the poem with “Still clinging to your shirt.” Also note that the title has the word “My” Roethke could have simply phrased it as “Papa’s Waltz” .”My” denotes the innate love, possessiveness and sense of belonging he experienced with his father.The father tries his best to establish a kind of harmony, but cannot.The rhythm of the steps points to the harmony of the bond.The phrase “round and round” implies the circle of life, that with repeated turns keeps them going together.He romped or played about with his father till the pans slid from the kitchen shelf.The above action is emblematic of domestic disturbance and insecurity.