Filter By:

Sort By:

Reset Filters

My Papas Waltz Essays (Examples)

Having trouble coming up with an Essay Title?

Use our essay title generator to get ideas and recommendations instantly

Theodore Roethke My Papa Waltz
Words: 884 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Book Report Paper #: 60702
Read Full Paper  ❯

Papa's altz": Hints of Child Abuse or Suggestions of the Pains of a Hard Life?

Theodore Roethke's piece, "My Papa's altz," is a perfect example of the different interpretations that can come from a single work of poetry. The phrasing, at times, suggest that there are instances of child abuse, while at the same time, others could claim that it is simply a glimpse into a moment of time that a father spends with his son prior to bed time -- whisky simply being a numbing to the pains of life. Kerry Michael ood describes it best when he says that, "Roethke would be pleasantly surprised to know that his poem has become a generational litmus test - an almost sure-fire means of determining the age of the poem's readers" (ood, 1). Members of "Generation X," along with those who can relate to this era, have a tendency to take…

Works Cited

Wood, Kerry Michael. "Poetry analysis: My Papa's Waltz, by Theodore Roethke ." Helium: Where Knowlege Rules. Helium, 10 Novemeber 2010. Web. 3 May 2012. .

Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke
Words: 732 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 6101292
Read Full Paper  ❯

These are far different ways of symbolizing similar coping skills, but they do have many things in common. Both poems use symbolism to mean more to the reader, and they make the reader think about their own life, too. They do this by painting vivid word pictures.

Imagery in these poems is very important in getting the details across. Frost uses the peaceful image of a snowy wood to contrast with the narrator's clearly busy life. Frost writes, "He will not see me stopping here / To watch his woods fill up with snow" (Frost). The reader can almost see the image of the woods at dusk, and the silent falling flakes of snow. Who would not want to linger there? oethke's poem also uses vivid imagery to make the poem stick in the mind of the reader. He writes, "The hand that held my wrist / Was battered on…


Frost, Robert. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Personal Web Page. 2005. 14. Oct. 2005. 

Roethke, Theodore. "My Papa's Waltz." 2005. 14 Oct. 2005.

Family Unit Explored in Papa's Waltz Family
Words: 610 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Thesis Paper #: 38484878
Read Full Paper  ❯

Family Unit Explored in "Papa's altz"

Family life is a complicated thing and while Hollywood might want us to think the family is a happy, cohesive unit, life proves it wrong. Reflecting life and its wide array of unexpected and unforeseen incidents, family life is a combination of the best and worst that life offers. Family life, at best, is bittersweet and "My Papa's altz," by Theodore Roethke demonstrates this point perfectly. Told from a child's point-of-view, the poem touches on how fear and love can exist at the same time.

The various elements of the family unit emerge in this poem. The tone of the poem reveals the speaker's mixed emotions toward his father. Through sensory descriptions, he allows readers to experience those emotions. For example, he smells whiskey on his father's breath, while still hanging onto him "like death" (Roethke 3). This is frightening when considered from a…

Work Cited

Roethke, Theodore. "My Papa's Waltz." The Norton Introduction to Literature. 6th ed. Ed. Carl

E. Bain, et al. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1995. Print.

Papa's Waltz the Speaker Mentions the Booze
Words: 949 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Paper #: 59906723
Read Full Paper  ❯

Papa's Waltz," the speaker mentions the booze on his father's breath, strong enough to make a "small boy dizzy," (Line 2). Theodore Roetke then opts to use the word "death" in the third line, creating instantly a tone of despair. The titular waltzing refers to the child having to dance around his father's abuse. He is also "waltzed off to bed," (Line 15). The irony of using the term "waltz" throughout adds complexity to the poem's tone. Waltzing is an odd choice of metaphor, because waltzing is dancing: something that is inherently joyful or happy. The "beating time" is not actually beating time to music but beating a child (Line 15). By using the metaphor of waltzing to discuss domestic violence, the poet draws even greater attention to the serious nature of the subject.

Simile and metaphor allow Sharon Olds to discuss sexuality and emotional intimacy. The first simile that…

Robert Hayden's The Whipping and Theodore Roethke's
Words: 555 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 61326010
Read Full Paper  ❯

Robet Hayden's "The Whipping," and Theodoe Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz" descibe child abuse. Both poets have simila appoaches to this weighty and sensitive subject matte. Hayden and Roethke avoid cliches, self-ighteousness, o judgmentalism, instead choosing to focus on the complex psychology undelying these issues. Howeve, neithe poet is willing to ovelook the need fo compassion and sympathy, even when dealing with abusive paents. This isn't to say that Hayden and Roethke ae insensitive o apologetic; quite the contay, both poets convey the pain and suffeing associated with child abuse. Using exquisite lyics and diction, the geneal theme is easy to figue out in both these poems. Howeve, Hayden's is told fom the pespective of an onlooke o neighbo, while Roethke's poem is told in fist peson, by the abused child. "The Whipping" is witten in fee vese without hymes, while "My Papa's Waltz contains a hyme scheme. In spite of…

references to dancing. Lines like "Such waltzing was not easy," and "You beat time on my head" refer to the dance. Child abuse is connected to dancing, which is an unusual and provocative association. The child in Roethke's poem might have some sympathy toward her abusers. Likewise, the woman witnessing the abuse of the boy in "The Whipping" offers some compassion in the last few lines of the poem: "And the woman leans muttering against / a tree, exhausted, purged-- / avenged in part for her lifelong hidings / she has had to bear." In other words, she is probably perpetuating abuse that was perpetrated on her. In a sense, she is also a victim. While the poets do not condone child abuse, they offer uniquely sympathetic perspectives on the parents.

Family ' Familial Love in Literature
Words: 1239 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 68493601
Read Full Paper  ❯


"A Good Man is Hard to Find" ends with the family being executed by the Misfit, a murderous outlaw. Although O'Connor's story is evidently supposed to be humorous, it gives the reader pause to note that the family will die without ever exchanging a kind word. There are different types of family violence: the somewhat positive violence of the Roethke poem that makes the boy adore his father at the expense of his mother vs. The carelessness and cruelty in the O'Connor story, which arises as a result of a lack of respect and the superficiality of the modern family. Family relationships do not necessarily create a state of understanding. In the story, the most transcendent moment of grace occurs between two strangers, before one kills the other, as physical violence makes the grandmother appreciate her time on earth. "His voice seemed about to crack and the grandmother's head…

Works Cited

O'Connor, Flannery. "A Good Man is Hard to Find." UCF. December 8, 2009.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. MIT Classics: Shakespeare Home Page. December 8, 2009

Silverstein and Roethke the Concept of Perception
Words: 738 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 74440327
Read Full Paper  ❯

Silverstein and Roethke

The concept of perception plays a major role in the poems "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein and "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke. In "Where the Sidewalk Ends," Silverstein looks to the future and contends that there is something unknown and possibly better beyond what he can see, whereas the narrator in Roethke's poem looks to the past to remember a time when he had no worries. Despite the differences in perspective, each writer is able to demonstrate how the narrator sees a glimpse of light in what would otherwise be considered a dark situation.

Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends" aims to have the viewer look beyond what he or she knows is there. Silverstein's repetition and anaphora of the word "and" helps to show that there are an endless amount of things that exist beyond the proverbial sidewalk. By repeatedly using the word…

Sophocles Shirley Jackson and Theodore Roethke
Words: 1187 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 38317494
Read Full Paper  ❯

Oedipus the King" by Sophocles, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, and "My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore oethke. Specifically, it will interpret and illustrate how the theme of parents may be seen in these three pieces.

Each of these pieces concern the family, but not the normal family unit most people expect. Each of the parents in these three pieces obviously contributes to the lives of their children, but not necessarily in the positive ways most parents are expected to contribute to the growth and abilities of their progeny. Their children grow in spite of their parents, rather than because of them.

The child in "My Papa's Waltz" has fond memories of his father, as this passage shows. "We romped until the pans / Slid from the kitchen shelf;" (oethke 880). However, as with many childhood memories, these views are distorted. Clearly, the father in the piece is a drunkard, and…


Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Work of the Scholars in Cyber English. 2000. 10 May 2004.

Judd. "Review of Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery.'" 2004. 10 May 2004. 

Nassaar, Christopher S. "Sophocles' 'Oedipus the King'." Explicator 55.4 (1997): 187-189.

Roethke, Theodore. "My Papa's Waltz." The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking, Writing, Sixth Edition. Ed. Michael Meyer. 880.

Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by
Words: 1000 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 88288409
Read Full Paper  ❯

Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell Without knowing that a ball turret is small place in a B-17, we would not understand the central metaphor analogizing the mother's womb to the ball turret, which is essential to understanding that the poem is about the contrast between the warmth of a mother's love and the cold dehumanizing treatment of the "State" where he is just another soldier.

Common Ground by Judith Cofer Before reading the poem, the title seemed quite self-explanatory, I figured the poem would be about finding common ground between people, and in a sense it is, but the message, after reading the poem, is much starker. It is more about the inescapability of aging, the common links that tie generations as the young get old and realize the commonalities they share with their parents.

Hazel Tells LaVerne by Katharyn Machan Knowing the fairy tale helps…

Warren Roethke and Wilbur Exterior
Words: 735 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 11389176
Read Full Paper  ❯

Like Roethke and arren, Richard ilbur blends classicism and philosophy with humble images: "Throughout his career ilbur has shown, within the compass of his classicism, enviable variety. His poems describe fountains and fire trucks, grasshoppers and toads, European cities and country pleasures. All of them are easy to read, while being suffused with an astonishing verbal music and a compacted thoughtfulness that invite sustained reflection" ("Richard ilbur,", 2010). Like Roethke, ilbur's use of nature tends to be personal, even though ilbur's diction is more formal and archaic in tone than "My Papa's altz." For example, in "The riter," ilbur writes of his young daughter, writing a story in her room, and compares her effort to chasing a frightened starling out of her room: "It is always a matter, my darling, / of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish / hat I wished you before, but harder."…

Works Cited

"Theodore Roethke." Poets. org. March 10, 2010. 

"Richard Wilbur." March 10, 2010.

Conflict the Theme of Freedom
Words: 2503 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 56411818
Read Full Paper  ❯

The choice cannot be repudiated or duplicated, but one makes the choice without foreknowledge, almost as if blindly. After making the selection, the traveler in Frost's poem says, "Yet knowing how way leads on to way/I doubted if I should ever come back" (14-15). And at the end, as one continues to encounter different forks along the way, the endless paths have slim chance of ever giving the traveler a second choice. One can see this as similar to Mrs. Mallard's change. As she looks out into the future, she sees endless possibilities for choice and nothing feels like she would ever return to the determinate state of marriage.

The final two lines of "The Road Not Taken" say, "I took the one less traveled by / and that has made all the difference" (19-20). Unlike in Chopin, the traveler determines to take the path. In Chopin, the path forces…


Carver, Raymond. (1981). Cathedral: stories. New York: Vintage.

Chopin, Kate. (2003). The Awakening and selected short fiction. New York: Barnes & Noble.

Frost, Robert. (1969). The Poetry of Robert Frost: the collected poems E.C. Lathem, Ed. New York: Holt.

Compare Poems
Words: 693 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 34716881
Read Full Paper  ❯

Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound and My Father's altz by Theodore Roethke

Ezra Pound's poem In the Station of the Metro and Theodore Roethke's poem My Father's altz both reflect the darker side of human nature. Though these works paint a very different picture, they each allude to the desperate conditions that we all face from time to time as human beings.

Pound's poem compares faces in the crowd at the metro to apparitions or ghosts, like petals on a wet black bough. The imagery evokes dark feelings of foreboding and death. It may be interpreted as a reminder that we are all born only to face the same inevitable end. The poem is constructed much like a Japanese haiku as is of only three lines. This simplicity adds to the poem's texture and adds power to the message. The reader is left to interpret the intent of…

Works Cited

Dickenson, Emily. Wild Nights.(1861). 9 August 2012.

Pound, Ezra. In the Station of the Metro.(1913). 9 August 2012.

Roethke, Theodore. My Father's Waltz (1942). 9 August 2012.

Shakespeare, William. Sonnet 73, (That time of year thou mayst in me behold). (1609). 9 August 2012.

Poetry Often Use Imagery as
Words: 689 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 62354456
Read Full Paper  ❯

The message of the poem is the longing for life and youth. In this case as well the images have a strong symbolical dimension, the light must be understood as life and youth, whereas the night as death and decay. Just as the title suggests it, there are people who will not easily accept their fate. "Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, / And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, / Do not go gentle into that good night" (Thomas, 10-12). Wild is a state of mind and the sun in flight is a symbol of freedom and creation. The imagery creates spiritual landscapes which unite the poet and the reader.

Shakespeare in his sonnet "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun" makes a clear opposition between elements of nature and parts of the body of the woman he loves. On the…


Heaney, Seamus. "Bogland"

Shakespeare, W. "My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing like the Sun"

Thomas, D. "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night"

Yeats, W.B. "The Lake Island of Innisfree"

Political Poetry of Wilfred Owen
Words: 731 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 97917031
Read Full Paper  ❯

e are consuming too many of our natural resources and our use of fossil fuels threaten the survival of our planet. The developing world seems to placing further strains upon the earth, with no signs of abatement in population growth or industrialization. e are torn apart by nationalism rather than united as a species, in the Middle East, in Africa, and Eastern Europe. e have more material goods, but less spiritual satisfaction.

In answer to all of these questions, we must look to the persona of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi, first and foremost, grappled with issues afflicting the region, and the cultures and faiths that are most troubling to the geopolitical crisis of today, namely the tensions between the Muslim and Hindu populations of East Asia. He also provided many solutions to all peoples, not just his own. His philosophy of nonviolence inspired Martin Luther King Jr. He also embraced people…

Works Cited

Hughes, Langston. "Harlem." Langston Hughes. 12 Mar 2008. 

Owen, Wilfred. "Dulce et Decorum Est." Emory University. 12 Mar 2008.

Generational Conflict and Adult Decision-Making
Words: 2441 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Term Paper Paper #: 93779374
Read Full Paper  ❯

Distinctly from John Updike's teenage character Sammy in his short story "A&P," who realizes he has just become an adult; Connie as suddenly realizes she feels like a kid again. Now she wishes the family she usually hates having around could protect her. The actions of the fearsome Arnold, are foreshadowed early on, when he warns Connie, the night before, after first noticing her outside a drive-in restaurant: "Gonna get you, baby" (paragraph 7). From then on, Arnold's quest to "get" Connie feels, to Connie and the reader, in its dangerous intensity, much like the predatory evilness of malevolent fairy tale characters, e.g., the Big Bad olf, or the evil stepmothers (and/or stepsisters) that fix on Snow hite, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and other innocent young female characters as prey. And Connie at the end of "here Are You Going, here Have You Been" wishes, like Little Red Riding Hood, Snow…

Works Cited

Kafka, Franz. "The Metamorphosis." E-text. 28 May 2007

Oates, Joyce Carol. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Celestial Time

Piece: A Joyce Carol Oates Home Page. 28 May 2007  / works / wgoing/text.html>

Updike, John. "A&P." 28 May 2007

Visions of Death as Part of the
Words: 1952 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 30692943
Read Full Paper  ❯

Visions of Death as Part of the Life Cycle

While the terms "life" and "death" are considered to be polar opposites by most standards, some authors view them as part of the same infinite cycle. For writers like Emily Dickinson and Jean hys, death is merely a transitional stage; it is not the end of existence any more than life is the beginning. Evidence of this view of death as a part of the ongoing cycle of life can be seen most prominently in Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" and in hys' "I Used to Live Here Once."

The most notable similarity between Dickinson's poem and hys' short story is that both of the narrators watch children play in the splendor of the natural world while they themselves are no longer a physical part of that world. The primary difference between these two works is that Dickinson…


Dickinson, E. Because I could not stop for death, Retrieved from 

Rhys, J. (1992) I used to live here once, In The Collected Short Stories, W.W. Norton & Company

Namely Bogland Written by Seamus
Words: 1221 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 43770610
Read Full Paper  ❯

Going further with the analysis, it could be stated that the Irish get answers to their dilemmas from their own cultural identity (which is nourished by the best values).

The previous idea of Ireland being eternal is supported by the view according to which its history stretches to immemorial times: "Every layer they strip/Seems camped on before./The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage./The wet centre is bottomless" (Heaney, 25-28). The fact that the centre is wet suggests the constant and eternal vitality of existence's root. The values of the people living in ogland can not get weary because they have such a solid source.

If ogland is the place where the poet comes from, in Yeats' case, Innisfree is the place where he wishes to escape. The environment is simple and just like in the poem analyzed above, the island is a symbol of freedom. In addition, the isolation allows the…


Meredith, D. "Landscape or mindscape? Seamus Heaney's Bogs," Retrieved October 11, 2010 from

Heaney, Seamus. "Bogland"

Yeats, W.B. "The Lake Island of Innisfree"

Alienation in Different Works of Literature Alienation
Words: 681 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 58166952
Read Full Paper  ❯

Alienation in Different orks of Literature

Alienation is a common theme in many works of literature -- in many genres, across many periods, and of many different forms. The idea that one individual cannot truly know or understand another, or that the rules of society necessarily force those that question those rules to somehow be outside of that society, has been around since the time of Homer and certain of his characters. It can also be seen in more modern works of poetry, short stories, and dramatic texts, from a variety of authors writing in different times and with very different perspectives.

illiam Blake's poem late eighteenth century poem "The Tyger" does not deal with humanity's alienation from itself, or individuals' alienation from each other, but rather addresses the alienation of humanity from the divine. Describing the tiger as "fearful" and asking what "distant deeps or skies" the tiger's maker…

Works Cited

Blake, William. The Tyger. 1794. Accessed 6 May 2012.

Chopin, Kate. The Story of an Hour. 1894. Accessed 6 May 2012. 

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesmen. New York: Penguin, 1976.

How Poets Used Imagery to Convey Deeper Ideas
Words: 1115 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 49307047
Read Full Paper  ❯

Death in "Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night"

"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" is one of Dylan Thomas's most recognizable poems. ritten for Thomas's dying father, this poem is 19 lines and is structured like a villanelle where only two sounds are rhymed. Through the use of imagery, Thomas is able to vividly explore the theme of death and resistance to it.

"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" is full of rebellious undertones with the opening line setting the tone for the rest of the poem. In the poem, Thomas urges his father, and others, to fight against death saying that "old age should burn and rave at close of day" and that a person should not give in so easily to Death's demands (line 2). Thomas continues to describe "wise men" who "at their end know dark is right" do not give…

Works Cited

Blake, William. "The Lamb." Songs of Innocence.

Blake, William. "The Tyger." Songs of Experience.

Thomas, Dylan. "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." Literature and the Writing Process, pg.

Irony in Two Short Stories
Words: 1177 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 48802790
Read Full Paper  ❯

She also learns, too late, that the jewels and the life she coveted so long ago was a sham. Hence, the symbolic nature of the necklace itself -- although it appears to have great value, it is in fact only real in appearance, not in reality and the heroine is incapable of assessing the false necklace's true worth.

The tale of "The Necklace" conveys the moral that what is real, the replacement she returned to Madame Forstier, can be won not with beauty but with hard work, sweat, and toil. Like "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Necklace" revolves around the use of irony and a single, symbolic element, exemplified in the title object that works throughout the tale, using the literary device of irony, to reveal the protagonist's moral character. That final revelation engineered by the title object makes the story compelling, even if both protagonists may seem morally repugnant. The…

Works Cited de Maupassant, Guy. "The Necklace." Classic Short Stories. 28 Jun 2008.  de Maupassant, Guy. "A Piece of String." Classic Short Stories. 28 Jun 2008. 

Poe, Edgar Allen. "The Tell-Tale Heart." The Online Literature Library.

28 Jun 2008.