My Papa's Waltz
by Theodore Roethke
My Papa's Waltz Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Why do you think the mother in this poem is so unhappy? Is she unhappy?
- Was the waltz just a trick to get the little boy in bed, or something else?
- Was the alcohol on the father's breath actually making his son dizzy?
- What do you think this father did for a living? Why was only one of his knuckles battered?
- Do you think that, for the boy, this dance was happy, scary, or something in between? Why?
- Do you think the father in this poem is abusive to his son? What quotes from the poem can you use as evidence to support your point of view?