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My Papa's Waltz

Rating: 3.9
The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.
The hand that held my wrist
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Friday, January 3, 2003
Topic(s) of this poem: dance
carlye 04 September 2019
from the first line we see " the whiskey on your breath could make a small boy dizzy
1 0 Reply
Wanda 17 February 2019
This poem is not about abuse. It is about a child sharing rare moment of closeness/affection with a hard-working father. The author himself shared this many times.
4 0 Reply
Pat Smith 10 July 2018
At every step you missed could mean the mistakes or regrets in the father's life. Hence the transfer of anger to the buckle symbolically. But like all good poetry, the reader brings their own experience to the poem, and it could be interpreted several ways. If that is Theodore Roethke's comment below, it seems he was beaten.
1 6 Reply
3 5 Reply
Gareth Southgate 10 July 2018
I get the feeling that this poeam is portraying that ITS COMING HOME
3 5 Reply
Paul McCartney 10 July 2018
I'm not sure I'm alive either
5 2 Reply
Theodore Roethke 20 June 2018
daddy beat me not good
9 3 Reply
Silvervixen 31 March 2018
Whoever says this poem is about abuse has some unresolved issues. Seriously, get a therapist.
4 8 Reply
R Brownfield 12 July 2016
I think this poem is complex and could be about abuse. There are several indications to me beside the whiskey. Pans sliding off shelves, frowning moms and battered hands and beat heads and being marched off to bed. I don't think its about music.
10 17 Reply
Terry Craddock 22 September 2015
Misty Memories Of My Father's Waltz the father was drunk on drink drunk on malt whiskey for a temperance committee the sight would not be pretty; in a child's idolizing eyes his father danced a pretty ditty for a father drunk on drink, to waltz music he stepped smartly; the father was drunk on drink drunk on rare treat whiskey for a hard working poor loving father money came not easy; he was finally in his home his castle celebrating his son's party for a loving hard working parent, love for his son shone brightly; the whiskey on his breath made a small boy dizzy but his son hung on like death in a love hug tightly; around the room they romped, till pans skid fell from kitchen selves his mother's countenance was not deadpan locked in rigid frowns; father's hand that held his son's wrist was battered on one knuckle at every step father missed, son's right ear sore scraped a buckle; but in a small son's eyes adoration adored the father's smiles father beat time on son's head with a palm caked hard by dirt; then waltzed the son off to bed still clinging to his Dad's shirt father is drunk with love, for music the waltz the child smiles; sharing the moment which speaks of dusted off childhood memories a child idolizing a hard working loving parent always caring giving; who even though drunk walks his son off to bed still forever loving ritually waltzing his son to his bedroom, in father's waltz memories; style smiles in malt tones make this golden gilt framed moment a rare treasured precious occurrence not a common nightly event; as enigmatic as enduring adoration a lapdog faithful loving child is relating at every step missed, a dreamlike memory reality held; Copyright © Terence George Craddock Written in September 2015 on the 21.9.2015. Inspired by the poem 'My Papa's Waltz' by Theodore Roethke. Dedicated to the poet Theodore Roethke.
11 9 Reply

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