Essay Comparing My Papa's Waltz And Those Winter Sundays

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Trine 1 Rebekah Trine Professor Rosecliffe English 105 T. Th. 22 October 2011 A Father's Love In numerous ways the poems “My Papa's Waltz” by Theodore Roethke and “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden are very similar. Both are written from a young boy's point of view and elaborate on the relationships these two have with their fathers. They also tell of the way their fathers show their love toward them and describe their interactions, or lack thereof. There are great differences in these poems as the relationships, and interactions are described and further exploration can be done in examining the tone, diction and imagery both poems display. In these poems a comparison can be made between the relationships these two fathers have…show more content…
Roethke's decision to use words such as “waltzing” (line 4) and “romped” (line 5) in his poem bring about a certain energy that Hayden's poem does not. His tone is a light one, a happy one where there seems to be joy in the home and two family members that care deeply for each other and enjoy showing that appreciation outwardly. In Hayden's poem there is a darkness to the home which surfaces with descriptions such as “blueblack cold” (line 2) and describing the house so cold its “splintering, breaking” (line 6). Hayden's dark tone is brought about through the words he uses and as it echos throughout the poem the relationship between the father and his son is described. The father has already been defined as a working class man as his hands are “cracked... from labor in the weekday” (line 3) and now on this early Sunday morning he awakes to “[drive] out the cold” (line 11). His son does not show any gratitude toward his father and in fact “[speaks] indifferently to him” (line 10). It is unfortunate too since the last two lines make it seem as though the father has passed away and the son never took the opportunity to thank him for all he had done. Again, in both poems the sons are appreciative of their fathers and yet show it

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