Tell me what you think or feel about the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Huebner Roethke.

“My Papa’s Waltz” opened my eyes to the circumstances endured by victims of alcoholism and how they endure pain from abuse. Despite being hurt by the dance and the stink of alcohol on his father’s breath, the narrator proceeds to dance with his father and cling to his shirt. The pain undergone by the narrator is evident when he says, “The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy.”

The more I read this poem, I find some details equivocal. I wonder if the narrator’s father notices that he is hurting his son, as the narrator clearly states that his father’s belt is hurting him. If he does, how could he be so inconsiderate toward his own son’s suffering? More so, why did the narrator’s mother stop the father from hurting her son? Why does the son not cry out for help?

The innocent boy recounts the waltz with his father as a light moment in his youth and is even in awe of him. Even so, “My Papa’s Waltz” is an accurate literature piece in painting a realistic picture of how children view their abusers.

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Academic.Tips. 2023. "Tell me what you think or feel about the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Huebner Roethke." January 20, 2023. https://academic.tips/question/tell-me-what-you-think-or-feel-about-the-poem-my-papas-waltz-by-theodore-huebner-roethke/.

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Academic.Tips. "Tell me what you think or feel about the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Huebner Roethke." January 20, 2023. https://academic.tips/question/tell-me-what-you-think-or-feel-about-the-poem-my-papas-waltz-by-theodore-huebner-roethke/.

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"Tell me what you think or feel about the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Huebner Roethke." Academic.Tips, 20 Jan. 2023, academic.tips/question/tell-me-what-you-think-or-feel-about-the-poem-my-papas-waltz-by-theodore-huebner-roethke/.

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