In Theodore Roethke’s ” My Papa’s Waltz” poem reader finds formulation and specific words that are clear to understand. The poem has four quatrains in which author describes a relationship between a young boy and his father. Robert Hayden’s poem “Those Winter Sundays” is shorter but have a similar subject. The adult narrator presents happy memories about past when his father was alive. Both poems are very short and the interpretation the meaning depends on reader’s perspective.
The two pomes have some similarities and differences in the overall tone, attidutes towards their father and specic meaning.
The tone of the first poem “My Papa’s Waltz” is full of humorus warm fillings at the beginning. The boy dancing with his father who spins him around making a mass in the kitchen which “make a small boy dizzy;” On the other hand reader can confuse dance with real meaning which is the beating of the child. The poet tried to describe drunken father in words “The whisky on your breath”. The brutal existence is contrasted with love and warm memories. The reader is missleaded by the title expecting to find a poem about loving father. Instead his father “Papa” is drunk and his hands are “caked hard by dirt”. In words “But I hang on” narrator tries to explain that he still loves his father. The poet defends his father and describes beating as a waltz. In poem “Those Winter Sundays” has romanticism, which evokes tone of nostalgia for a childhood. The poem is so moving and it has a great meaning packed in few words. The father is hardworking man “with cracked hands that ached from labor”. Word choice is very realitic which give more universal meaning to the poem. However, romantic tone was contrasted with desire and loss. Narrator realized that he never expressed love to his father “No one ever thanked him.”.
Theodore Roethke’s poem ” My Papa’s Waltz” attitude toward a father was very strong and emotional.