He does not lessen the impact of these beatings or their brutality. At the end, the father dances his son off to bed. The father keeps missing steps and scratching his son on the ear. A second definition is rough, lively play. Now, the love for a father is a very distinctive love.
In stanza three we learn that the father has an injured knuckle and that the boy's ear scrapes on his parent's belt buckle when Papa misses steps. Mothers most often were not members of the work force. The father and son are making much commotion by knocking pans off the shelf. Even though it is a close bond between the father and son, it comes off quite baleful. As the poet clings onto the father, Theodre Roethke may also imply to his own thought-process- his clinging onto the memory of his father frantically ,whom he lost when he was just fourteen. The whole poem is basically a metaphor in and of itself.
The mother is described only briefly, the way a camera at a ballgame might pan up to the crowd for a moment to show the faces of those watching the ballgame before cutting back to the field where the action is. The battered knuckles possibly damaged in previous, frequent brawls. The little boy does not want to go to bed. The reader also sees the mother in a seemingly helpless state as the father continues to damage the house. Battered- injured by repeated blows or punishment The father may have punched something, maybe out of anger or drunkenness.
A Waltz is a lighthearted, easily accessible dance. One would think that a smile would be more appropriate. Are we as a society becoming more sober and sensible? I imagined a boy dancing around with his drunken father or even a hint of abuse due to alcoholism. The four quatrains of the poem are highly finished. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle. Because of the vivid imagery, the reader can feel the boy's pain and fear of his father.
They are knocking pans off the shelf, and the mother is not too happy about that. The more convincing interpretation is that it has a hidden message of parental abuse. The style and tone of this poem, make the even more like a rare treasured occurrence than a common nightly event. Setting The poem takes place in the kitchen of a family's home. Yet within that dance is a hint of desperation and a whole load of fear, carried by short lines, enclosed within easy rhyme.
The boy could be too scared to speak up and tell his father he is hurting him. This poem brings back very clear and concise images of my childhood and Reothke's is able to touch many a nerve in me. All in all, I think this is a wonderfully written and meaningful poem. The word that is key to the poem is romp. But he would continue with great determination in spite of difficulties.
I choose to look at the poem in a brighter light. As you can see the poem does not suggest an abusive environment, but is a strong bond of love and playfulness between father and son. In my point of view, the imagery and language, the symbolism, and tone in the poem gave me the impression of the love between the father and son, not of an abusive relationship. Although it's aimed at students, lovers of poetry will benefit from this close up look too. Prior to that time, few could define the word sommelier. The families in these poems differ, nevertheless, they still relate on common ground.
The slightly confusing tone in the poem is due to the fact that the boy does not understand why his father is abusing him. The father, perhaps knowing this, in his wisdom hits upon a better way to get the boy to bed: waltzing him there with a merry, lively, drunken dance in which the boy is not quite sure of the outcome—i. It is then assumable that the waltz of Roethke and his father is one of the few memories involving his father as he passed away so early. Their waltz is pretty clumsy — the pans are sliding from the shelf, and mom's not too happy about that. It is an awkward unity that is depicted in the poem—but there it is nonetheless: the union of the father and son, bonding by way of a drunken waltz initiated by the happy father who picks up the boy for a dance before bed. In fact, he has been drinking enough that the smell of his breath could make a small boy, his son, dizzy.