Interpretation Of My Papa's Waltz By Theodore Roethke

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In the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, the theme comes across as a family memory. The boy reminiscences on a childhood memory of the past with his father. The poem can come across as negative, positive, or both. In the first stanza he talks of his father’s breath smelling of whiskey, that caused him to become light headed and hang on like death. While death can be interpreted in a negative way, it can also be seen through a positive perspective. The negative side can be interpreted when he spoke of the overwhelming smell of whiskey coming off his father as he tried to hang on like death. Though, it could be seen more in a joyful manner such as him not being able to keep up with his father’s dancing crashing into the dishes as he