Theodore Roethke: Poems

My Papa's Waltz

what do you know about the father? use quotes to defend your answers?

why is the mother in this poem angry? use quotes to defend your answers?

what is the "story" of this poem? use quotes to defend your answers?


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1) The father is known to drink.....

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;

2) The mother is angry because the father and son are making a mess in their enjoyment.

We romped until the pans    Slid from the kitchen shelf;    My mother’s countenance    Could not unfrown itself.  

3.) Every line of the poem alludes to the relationship between father and son. The son romps and dances with his father, hanging on for dear life, playing with and clinging to the man he loves, as he's carried off to bed.


My Papa's Waltz