I Will Always Dance With You Essay

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I Will Always Dance With You April Strausser ENG 125 Katie Newbanks February 15, 2012 In Theodore Roethke’s poem “My Papa’s Waltz,” there are details that give us a little insight into all three of the characters. If one pays close enough attention they can pick out the few important descriptions offered. An encounter with an abusive father is the first interpretation likely made by readers and students; or at least seems to be the common one as of late. At first glance that was the interpretation that came to mind for me. However, I read and reread this several more times, and then went looking for more information before deciding on a final interpretation and analyzing the poem “My Papa’s Waltz.” The author of My Papa’s Waltz, “Theodore Roethke” was born in 1908 in Saginaw, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan. Roethke taught at several universities, including the University of Washington (as cited in Clugston, 2010). I believe it is very important to know a little history about an author to obtain a better understanding his or her work. Clugston further notes that because of Roethke’s intimate writing, he was part of a group of poets known as “confessional poets.” I think this statement points to Roethke’s tendency to write about his personal experiences. When analyzing something personal that was written, it is important to try to put yourself inside the authors head. Looking at the reference page for our reading, it shows that this poem was originally published in 1942. I feel this is of great importance to consider when trying to analyze the poem as times were much different back then; family’s interacted differently, what was considered acceptable was different, life was different. People read many poems every day, and their interpretation of the poem’s meaning will vary, as is the case with My Papa’s Waltz; however, the following is my

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