Papa's Waltz by Theodore Roethke Term Paper

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These are far different ways of symbolizing similar coping skills, but they do have many things in common. Both poems use symbolism to mean more to the reader, and they make the reader think about their own life, too. They do this by painting vivid word pictures.

Imagery in these poems is very important in getting the details across. Frost uses the peaceful image of a snowy wood to contrast with the narrator's clearly busy life. Frost writes, "He will not see me stopping here / To watch his woods fill up with snow" (Frost). The reader can almost see the image of the woods at dusk, and the silent falling flakes of snow. Who would not want to linger there? Roethke's poem also uses vivid imagery to make the poem stick in the mind of the reader. He writes, "The hand that held my wrist / Was battered on one knuckle; / At every step you missed / My right ear scraped a buckle" (Roethke). The reader can almost see the image of the father, a working man, waltzing his small son around the tiny kitchen.
The imagery helps the reader understand the poem and appreciate the characters. It is easy to identify with a loving son and father and someone who wants to have a moment of peace in a busy life. The poets use different imagery, but they use it to convey details about their characters in very few words. They draw vivid pictures, and that makes the poems more memorable.

In conclusion, the poems show that very different poetry can still contain commonalties that make it interesting and vivid. Poetry can vary in style, meter, theme, and symbolism, but they all still share many common elements that are vital to all poems. Without these common elements to hold them together, poems would simply be groups of words. By using literary elements, they become works of art that mean something and are memorable.


Frost, Robert. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Personal Web Page. 2005. 14. Oct. 2005.

Roethke, Theodore. "My Papa's Waltz." 2005. 14 Oct. 2005.….....

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