My Papa's Waltz - Julian Neri AP English Per 2 My Papas Waltz Theodore Roethkes villanelle describes a father son relationship which is based around

My Papa's Waltz - Julian Neri AP English Per 2 My Papas...

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Julian Neri AP English Per. 2 February 28, 2008 “My Papa’s Waltz” Theodore Roethke’s villanelle describes a father son relationship which is based around rough housing. Although this poem is accessible at first, due to the catchy rhythm, the reader can argue for hours whether this type of behavior is harmful or out of love. Certainly, in our age the behavior noted is one to be questioned, with the rise in child- abuse awareness, but in the early 20 th Century this father to son roughness was typical. Roethke chooses playful words, such as “papa”, “romp” and “waltz”, help to give a pleasant tone to the poem, even if the actions are somewhat violent. In the first stanza, the narrator explains how the father had whiskey under his breath and that it “was not easy” to deal with him drunk. Although this alcoholism brought hardships for the young boy, he still “hung on like death”, possibly foreshadowing his fathers death when he was

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