Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Short Analysis of "My Papa's Waltz"
It didn't take me very long to realize this poem was about child abuse. What disturbs me the most about this poem is how at the end of the beating, the narrator still clings to his father's shirt. The speaker clings to his father's shirt throughout the entire piece, pointing towards the fact that this boy still loves his abusive father. Through these beatings the narrator grows, "You beat time on my head" (line 13). His youthful imagination replaces the pain with an easier image--a waltz: "But I hung on like death:/Such waltzing was not easy". The simple ABAB rhyme scheme ("breath/death" and "dizzy/easy") is that of a child's nursery rhyme, further disguising the grittiness of the event and hints at the speaker's delusion.