Meter And Rhythm Described In My Papa's Waltz.

1012 words - 4 pages

My Papa's Waltz" In Theodor Roethke's "My Papa's waltz" thereader finds a horrid experiance, the beating of a child by his father,which is told in a way of a romantic and beutifull dance - the waltz. Thefeeling one get from reading this poem is that the narrator, at least atthe time in which the poem is written, does not look at this experience assomething bad. He tries to beutify the experience by making it a waltz. Healso, by means of images and rythem, shows the conflict between thereaders, or the way any other 'normal' man will look at this experiance,and how he sees it, or wants it to be seen ( although he does not show hisfather as completley innocent). It can also be looked upon as the PettyHerst syndrom - meaning having a 'reality' so intense and strong that onefeels incapable of any other 'reality', fearing it can and will be worse.The poem is built of four stanzas( quatrain ), each consisting offour lines. The rhyme scheme is, in the first stanza - abab, in the second- cdcd, in the third - efef, and in the fourth - ghgh. The meter istrecet iamb ( stressed unstressed - three times per line ). Thecentral image in the poem is the metaphor in which the beatings aredescribed as a waltz. The poet is led around the house, dancing - notbeaten around. Which is also brought throu by the meter - trecet iamb -the beat of the waltz, thus the main image is shown through the meter aswell, giving the reader more of the feeling of a dance in contrast to the'secondery images' which are more associated with the rough experiance ofa beating. Given such parameters the poet installs some sort of relaxationin the reader ( maybe even in himself ), in order to make the subject -the beating - more readable, and lessening the effect of the drunkness andthe beatings, making his father more human. By this dance metaphor thewhole routine of the beating is messeged. The drunken father, his breath "Could make a small boy dizzy", yet the boy hangs " on like death". Theword death is important, usualy the word death, in love poems, showstruthfullness and undesputable love, as in marrige one promises to love todeath, to never leave even if what is left is just a memory - as happensin this poem. The boy will love his father to end; although, a greatbitterness remains in the memory - the drunkness, failure ( "every stepyou missed"), and the beating deriving from these failure and drunkness.For each failure " My right ear scraped a buckle " - The boy is acused forhis fathers failures. Another way in which the love to the father is shownis the way in which the father is described, by which the poet shows hislove to the father, and his longing to him, is by calling him "Papa" - notfather. This word is used, often, to fathers which with one has a specialrelationship, a...

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