My Papas Waltz

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My Papa’s Waltz By: Theodore Roethke My Papa’s Waltz Theodore Roethke wrote this poem to make his readers actually think about what he was trying to tell them. Some people think this poem is about a son and father dancing. While others seem to believe it is about abuse. In the first line of the poem “The whiskey on your breath” it is saying how the father has been drinking (line 1). “Could make a small boy dizzy” is telling us that the fathers breathe smells of alcohol. The smell of alcohol is getting to the son that is why he feels dizzy (line 2). In the line “But I hung on like death” is stating that the son was on his father’s leg and he was holding on tightly. The description “like death” introduces a note of fear (line 3). The line “Such waltzing was not easy” indicates that the father and son were dancing. The waltz is a simple dance so since he was drunk it was easy for him to dance. This line also states that the father was not able to keep his balance (line 4). In the line “We romped until the pans” it is saying that they were being playing while dancing. Romped is the meaning for fun and playfulness (line 5). “Slid from the kitchen shelf” is saying that the pans were falling from the shelves because they were being too rough (line 6). The line “My mother’s countenance” is stating how the mother wasn’t happy about their dancing. Countenance is another meaning for tolerance. The mother could put up with the dancing to a certain point but it also made her mad (line 7). In the line “Could not unfrown itself” is saying how the mother wasn’t smiling or happy about the playful

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