The boy is hanging onto his father so hard that he is as inescapable as death. The little boy recalls an experience dancing a waltz with his father in their home. The tone of the poem is half affectionate and half sardonic. GradeSaver, 29 June 2016 Web. The choice of words used in a poem contributes a great deal towards the thematic concerns of a poem and the mood that the poem will set.
Later on the child is ' still clinging' to the father's shirt as they go dancing off to bed. Alliteration is seen throughout the entire poem, as in lines one through four, and seven through eight. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle. All those forms of analysis contribute towards the overall understanding of the poem. The second stanza describes a playful roughhousing between father and son. He romped or played about with his father till the pans slid from the kitchen shelf.
It is implied that the father is a drunk. As the poet clings onto the father, Theodre Roethke may also imply to his own thought-process- his clinging onto the memory of his father frantically ,whom he lost when he was just fourteen. Clinch seems to be a rather strong word and it indicates a use of forceful grabbing. The man is hard working, wants a bit of fun with his son, yet when the domestic scene becomes messy, the mother becomes disgruntled, perhaps a little angry. While most people seem to drink in moderation, others have a hard time drinking responsibly. Thus, the ultimate interpretation of the poem depends solely on the reader and his or her experience. Roethke use of words in this poem is amazing.
Theodore Rothke was fascinated by the nature of the world; many of his poems were about this subject. The word death is important, usualy the word death, in love poems, shows truthfullness and undesputable love, as in marriage one promises to love to death, to never leave even if what is left is just a memory — as happens in this poem. Sometimes alcohol abuse can lead to physical abuse, mental abuse, loss of a job, alcoholism, or the breaking down of relationships. Contradictory to the title however, the poem depicts a perplexing scene of a father drunkenly dancing his son up to bed. He appears to be manhandling the child. He had several bouts of depression and mental instability during the 1930s but eventually overcame them. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother's countenance Could not unfrown itself.
I came to a consensus on both the tension, and the resolving of it. If life is a dance then this child is having a tough time because the dance was not easy - note the lack of a contraction which makes the line more formal. Theodore Roethke 1908-1963 was born and grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, eventually going on to Harvard and then into teaching poetry in Washington. Although the poem is narrated retrospectively, from a grown up man point of view, something remains, the poet does not hate his father for the beating, on the contrary, he shows us that the love to his father is not, and never was lost. The poem presents a relationship between a drunken father and his son. At first glance it appears to be a simple four stanza work but a closer look at these 16 lines will reveal much more.
This gives an impression of father being drunk who has the ability to hurt the child. How many people have ever picked up a newspaper article to determine the information the writer was trying to convey after a day or a month or a year? Theodore Rothke went through a period where he was depressed and mentally unstable. A change that the poem does offer up is the tone of the language of the poem. It exemplifies how the dance movement that is symbolic had at once entered their daily routine. Continuing into the second stanza, the young boy and his father make their way through the kitchen where the mother is introduced. Lines 5-6 These two lines reveal the boisterousness of the dancing, which seems at odds with the grace of a.
This is the initial indication that the father and son were dancing. There's a hint of domestic chaos in the poem and the reader is compelled to try to work out whether this is a good or a bad thing. Theodore uses metaphors in this poem to describe the relationship with his father. He would put his feet on top of his father's. The reader can interpret the poem however they see fit. Knuckle and buckle are hard, aggressive words, breath and death suggest begnnings and end of life, shirt and dirt related to work and masculinity. Careful analysis of the keywords and each individual stanza back up this theory of child abuse by a violent and drunken father.
The poem is about a young boy waltzing with his father. The reader is forced to question what, exactly, may have happened during those staggering, lurching dances in the kitchen amid the clanging tones of pans and worry? This word is used, often, to fathers which with one has a special relationship, a certain love. He tries to beautify the experience by making it a waltz. Download file to see next pages Read More. One would think that a smile would be more appropriate. Does it tie in with the title? This is a happy poem even though there are some negative words in the poem, it makes you think back on all the great times you have had with your father.