Theodore Roethkes My Papas Waltz and Robert Haydens Those Winter Sunday - Essay Example

This essay explores Theodore Roethke’s My Papa’s Waltz and Robert Hayden’s Those Winter Sundays. This thesis states that although the poems are autobiographical in nature, time and other variables like adult sentiments have distorted the representation of the past. …
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Theodore Roethkes My Papas Waltz and Robert Haydens Those Winter Sunday

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Theodore Huebner Roethke (1908 – 1963) was an American poet whose poetry was characterized by his trademark literary device of imagery. Robert Hayden (1913 - 1980) was a poet who experienced a difficult childhood as depicted in Those Winter Sundays.
The Papa in Roethke’s poem, My Papa’s Waltz, has been drinking heavily enough to reek of whisky in his breathe. This is an image of a son who respects his father and follows his lead even as he has to hang on for dear life. The father who dances with his son has several connotations in symbolism. The positive aspect of this symbolism would be highlighting the father-son bonding that takes place when the father makes time for his son. The negative aspect would be the sexual connotations of two males dancing. Such close proximity might suggest inappropriateness but for the fact that the boy dancer is very young and his head just reached the belt buckle of his Papa’s pants. This juxtaposition again suggests a shade of impropriety. The son evidently worships his Papa for he struggles to hang on like ‘death’ even as the waltz proves difficult to follow. The dance is physical and its vibrations cause the pans to slide from the kitchen shelf. The Papa is not effeminate because he is brave enough to battle with his bare knuckle and he has earned his decoration of a ‘battered’ knuckle. ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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