La Valse De Mon Papa.(Translation) . - Poem by Michael Walker
Le whisky de ton haleine
Pourrait donner le vertige a un petit garcon;
Mais je perseverai comme la mort:
Une telle valse n'etait pas facile.
Nous dansames jusqu'au glissementdes casseroles
Des rayons de la cuisine;
La mine de ma mere
Ne pouvait cesser de renfrogner.
La main qui tenait mon poignet
Etait battue sur une jointure;
A chaque pas que tu manquais
Mon oreille droite frottait contre une boucle.
Tu tapais le tempo sur ma tete
D'une paume durcie de boue,
Puis tu me valsais au lit
Encore m'accrochant a ta chemise.
-' My Papa's Waltz'. Theodore Roethke(1908-1963) .
-' Poetry Speaks', p.182.Editors: Elise Paschen and Rebekah Presson Mosby.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
The poet's father was unpleasant to him. The boy could smell the whisky on his breath, when he got his son to waltz in the kitchen. Sometimes the pans would slip off the kitchen shelves.There are hints to do with violence in the father: His hand was battered on one
knuckle, and the boy's right ear scraped his buckle when he missed a step. The father would beat the tempo on his son's head, his hand dirty from work, then waltz him off to bed.
The words, 'battered', knuckle', 'buckle', 'beat time on my head', have connotations of violence and unpleasantness.
Theodore Roethke won the Pulitzer Prize for his book: 'The Waking: Poems 1933-1953'. From Saginaw, Michigan, Roethke suffered from depression, for which he was hospitalized more than once, although he said that his illness gave him a deeper perspective about poetry writing. He gained in compassion.
The four quatrains are written in the rhyme pattern of, abab.
A very tidy memory poem, I think.
Comments about La Valse De Mon Papa.(Translation) . by Michael Walker
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