Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


Theodore Roethke's: My Papa's Waltz

No description

elyse ray

on 2 December 2013

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Theodore Roethke's: My Papa's Waltz

My Papa's Waltz
Critical Reviews
& Objections
From Gale Databases:
Great Depression:
- lack of education, jobs, and money
- lead to dismal family situations
- life was not very enjoyable
Rhyme and Rhythm
ABAB rhyming scheme:

"The whiskey on your
Could make a small boy
But I hung on like
Such waltzing was not
The nature of a physically abusive relationship is very one side oriented. There is a dominance of one person over another and this is symbolized in the title.
- Attended University of Michigan and gained academic recognition
- Taught at Lafayette College, Michigan State, Pennsylvania State, and Washington State
- Tennis coach at Bennington College
- His most famous works are
The Walking, The Lost Son, The Fair Field and Words for the Wind

Theodore Roethke's:
The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother’s countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.
My Papa's Waltz
Theodore Roethke uses symbolic language, diction, rhythm, and title to imply a relationship of physical abuse between a father and son in his poem,
My Papa's Waltz
, exploring the culture of 1942 and the nature of a physically abusive relationship.
My Papa's Waltz is a famously debated poem. Roethke has remained quiet about the true intentions behind his words and has left audiences to argue if this poem speaks of a joyful, clumsy dance, or is an allusion to an abusive relationship.
The Culture of 1942 and the biography of Roethke play important roles in the interpretation of this poem.
World War II:
- dominated the 1940's
- Families were torn apart by the draft
- New role for women in the workplace

Development of Protection for Children
- Very little had been done previously outside of charitable aid through the wealthy
- Great depression took away all funds
- Preoccupation with the war took all attention away from those remaining in the United States

Writing Style
- Creates a very personal and purposeful voice
- Literary devices not only serve their most basic functions, but also contribute to the meaning of the work.
Won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954 for Literature
Symbolic Language
Literary Devices
Roethke uses phrases that superficially create a picture of a father and son waltzing, but there are subtle clues to the abuse being weathered by the son.
"Such waltzing was not easy" (line 4)
"My mother's countenance could not unfrown itself" (7)
"You beat time on my head" (13)
"Then waltzed me off to bed, still clinging to your shirt" (16)
Roethke uses diction that has the ability to be taken literally or figuratively. When considered figuratively, is words develop the physically abusive relationship between father and son.
death (3)
romped (5)
unfrown (8)
battered (10)
scraped (12)
beat (13)
hard (14)
clinging (16)
Iambic Pentameter

Rhythm created by the stressed and unstressed syllables
A waltz is written in 3/4 time in music and each phrase has 3 or 3 1/2 beats in
My Papa's Waltz


My Papa's Waltz
Marisa Pagnattaro looks at My Papa's Waltz literally, taking it as a innocent and happy dance between a father and son.
"This unmistakably frolicsome term sugests the lively play of children, not a boy victimized by his father".
However, the symbolic language and tone created by the literary devices are too strong to dismiss the physical abuse occurring.
Some Required Questions
I found the research proposal very helpful.
Prezi allows for more creativity and is a more entertaining way of communication.
Not traveling for Christmas, unfortunately!
Full transcript