English 20

” My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore R. deals with a drunken father and an son thats loves him despite of it.

My papa’s waltz

In “My Papa’s Waltz” Roethke expresses many forms of figurative language to show the readers the imagery in the poem. One example of imagery can be found in “The whiskey on your breath” (1) I think of an old nasty man with dirty clothes and smells bad, at home with his son and the son smelling his breath. The whisky on his breath rinks and depresses the son. And another one I found on line nine was “The hand that held my wrist” when I think of this one I can picture the old drunken man grabbing his son. The grip being tight and the arm getting red. Roethke does an excellent job of showing imagery.

Warren Pryor

Who is the speaker?

The speaker in this poem is the son in 3rd person; he was talking about himself and his life path.

What is the point of view?

The point of view is the son, saying how he was treated and what happened in his life. But I think it was a little bit of the parents in 3rd person as well. They could of spoke about how they wanted him going to school so they sacrificed a bit of what they had for him.

What is the subject?

The tone?

The subject I think is a little bit of disappointment. The parents sacrificing a bit of what they had for him and then him wanting to be a farmer is very disappointing. And the tone is a upsetting, very strong poem.

What is the mood?

The mood is settle, very calm yet very strong and threatening. The poem does a great job of getting peoples attention and settling the mood for the readers.

What is the theme?

The theme is a little bit of both determination and disappointment. Determination because the son had to courage to tell his parents what he really wanted. And disappointment when the parents were told what he truly wanted, and of course having to deal with it.



Free write

In the story the shaving it represents a bond between the father, this man loves and cares for his father. The son then offers to shave the father to then make the bond between them stronger. Barry is willing to shave the father then the father will then tell Barry something important. Even though the father is sick he still asks about Barry and I like that. Barry is a very humble man, he is very respectful. And I have lots of respect for barry because of his personality, he seems like he would be a good friend.


Barry is a young teenager who is an athlete and is liked within his friends. Unfortunately Barry’s father is very sick in the hospital and is suffering onto real life.  This is the the last moments with each other, this is a good chance were they can talk and tell each other things. Barry’s father then passes away later on. The way that i predicted it was when they would be in an intense conversation and the father would pass away in the middle of it.

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