My Papa's Waltz & Those Winter Sundays English 110

My Papa's Waltz & Those Winter Sundays English 110...

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“My Papa’s Waltz” “We don’t see things as they are—we see them as we are.” —Anais Nin Here’s a poem by the famous Michigan writer, Theodore Roethke, whose father ran a nursery and greenhouse business in Saginaw. This poem avoids all psycho-babble about love-hate relation- ships, childhood idealization of the father, family tensions and conflicts, the borderline between play and violence, whatever. It avoids those clichés and trite formulations by instead depicting specific things and moments of experience—through imagery that allows us to see the life, and the father-son relationship, that the boy narrator describes. As you read it, avoid cliché reactions having to do with dysfunctional families, alcoholism, child abuse, and other newspaper topics. Such matters are real enough, but stock responses can block your perceptions. Instead, concentrate on the particulars of the poem. Every image here deserves to be pondered and tasted to the full, for its emotional richness. The overall tone and feeling contains love and pain and humor and nostalgia, all blended. ( NB : Chuck Whitchurch appropriated and adapted this introduction by Western Michigan University’s Prof Seamus Cooney from <homepages.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poems/roethke.papa.htm>. By the way, Prof Cooney’s comment about stock responses is exactly right: heed his advice!
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