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My Papa's Waltz

  • Date Submitted: 04/23/2013 12:45 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.3 
  • Words: 563
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Broughton Dwayne                                                                                                                                           Broughton
Professor Lannon
ENC 1102
21 March 2013
                          Reader Response to ““Roethke's revisions and the tone of "My Papa's Waltz."       (Theodore Roethke
Essential information
McKenna, John J. "Roethke's revisions and the tone of 'My Papa's Waltz.' (Theodore Roethke)." ANQ 11.2 (1998): 34+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.
Content Summary
This article states that the poem obtains a fascinating ambiguity that extracts different perceptions. One outlook is that the father had a little too much of whiskey, and now he’s having fun waltzing throughout the kitchen with his child. The other outlook is that the child’s father is an abusive alcoholic. As the article states the poem is ambiguous and that both views are neither correct nor incorrect; it relies upon either your personal experience or preceding knowledge. McKenna states that the author Roethke tried to balance the positive and negative tones of the poem, concluding in rich ambiguity. The two original compositions of "My Papa's Waltz" are located at the University of Washington. Dissimilarities in the two manuscripts show a detectable arrangement of composition, along with alterations. Those changes display Roethke’s efforts to accomplish just the correct emphasis for his poem. With all the careful revisions Roethke did, the result is a poem uncertain of meaning that speaks eloquently to an immense crowd. In regards to the poet’s revisions, they suggest that the poem did not have to be read entirely as a negative or a positive depiction about this family moment. Without doubt, this was a brief time period described by conflicting affection for the speaker: love and fear; thrill and worry; a rough gentleness....


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