Study Guide

My Papa's Waltz Summary

By Theodore Roethke

My Papa's Waltz Summary

Daddy's had a little too much whiskey, and now he's waltzing around the kitchen with his son. Their waltz is pretty clumsy – the pans are sliding from the shelf, and mom's not too happy about that.

The father must be a guy who works with his hands, because his knuckles are rough, and he deals with a lot of dirt.

This dance may not be all fun and games for the boy – he keeps scraping his ear on his dad's belt buckle, ouch! And his dad is keeping time, perhaps not so gently, on the boy's head.

In the end, the father dances the boy off to bed.

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