The cadence of our everyday speech is what determines what message we as individuals desire to convey when we speak. In the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” the speaker's word choice deeply affects the tone of the poem and what Roethke is beginning to convey in his poem. Roethke includes phrases mentioning “But I hung on like death such waltzing was not easy (3-4)” portraying the tone of sympathy, mournful as the child was clinging onto his whiskey drinking father’s like death displaying that the family is dysfunctional and far from perfect expressing to the point the emotions that the speaker feels toward his father that displays the downplay of the moments as a childplay encounter.
In the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” Roethke incorporates the various literary elements to outline the the child’s recreation of the event causing commotion within the family as the father arrives at his home in a drunken state. The speaker interprets and refurbishes the incident as an act of father son bonding as a coping mechanism of the reality that his father is intentionally