Essay: The Poem My Papa’s Waltz
In the poem “My papa’s Waltz”, it is about the joys of a small boy who is dancing with his father although his father, has had one too many, the narrator is not generally against alcohol. Even though a dance is supposed to be joyous to all the participants, here we find out that the boy is just being obedient to his father, thus as the title suggests, the dance is for the father but not the son. Since the boy is not interested in the dance, their movements make him dizzy. In the second verse, we find out that the boy’s mother is not amused by what her husband is doing to their son. The father misses some steps and scrapes his son’s ear and as well, he injures his knuckle.
What the poet is showing us here is the things a child should go through when with a parent who loves him or her. He describes his father as a hardworking man who settles for a tot of whisky after a hard day’s work. Roethke does not hate drinkers but he shows that he loves people who are committed in what they do. There are some discomforts in the young boy as he narrates but this cannot be taken as child abuse the father is just having a nice time with his son although he is tipsy.