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Amazing Poet Theodore Roethke

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 4 (807 words)
Categories: Abuse, Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Poems, Poetry, Psychology, Society, Violence
Downloads: 44
Views: 371

This source provides information on how an amazing poet, Theodore Roethke, came to be. It helps to give insight into what inspires him to write the way that he does. Despite his dislike for high school, Roethke pushed his education further at the University of Michigan and earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1929. This seemed to have started a spark of interest in his english and poetry career. He taught at many different colleges before, in 1947, he landed at the University of Washington in Seattle.

‘He was appointed poet in reisdence’ in 1962 along with being a professor of English (source).

Roethke’s family owned a large greenhouse when he was a boy. This greenhouse greatly influenced his poetry and style of writing. Roethkes love of nature is well represented in his expressive poetry. In the beginning, he, ”like a child, had tried to make plain words do the trick,” and as he grew he wrote lengthier poems in an attempt ”to catch the movement of the mind itself.


This article is a criticism of Roethke’s My Papa’s Waltz. It makes a point to emphasize the two main themes of the poem, either joy or fear. These two emotions are very plausible and common reactions to reading My Papa’s Waltz. Many readers hear the boy speaking compassionately and warmhearted to his father, while others believe that the boy is unhappy to have him as a father. These themes trade off throughout the poem in a never ending waltz, or ‘seesaw, where the elements of joy (the figure of the waltz, the playful rhumes, the rhuthm), are balances against the elements of fear'(which is represented in the whiskey, death, dizziness, battered, and much more)(Fong). The emotions that the reader sees in this poem and feels is strongly influenced by personal experiences. This means that ‘My Papa’s Waltz’ has the capability to help readers gain ‘access [to] potent memories in their own lives in ways consistent with the words and construction of the poem’ (Fong).

This article gives a detailed description on what alcoholism is and what it does to the human body. An unknown fact is that alcoholism is a disease. The body craves it, the mind gives in to the temptation, then the will is typically not strong enough to stop drinking once started. Some cases of alcoholism are so bad that it ‘can cause people to neglect all other aspects of their lives’ because they are basically addicted to drinking alcohol (source). This addiction can be psychological, physical, or both. After a while, the body builds up a slight immunity to the immediate effects of alcohol causing them to drink more over time.

Heart disease, cancer, liver disease, memory loss, and depression are just a few of the effects of long-term alcoholism. In order to recover, most people suffering from alcoholism need to abstain from alcohol completely. In most cases, abstainance has to continue in order for the alcoholics to remain in a better state.

Alcohol withdrawal is when the body needs it to function, because they have become dependent on its effects to function. Tremors are a sign of withdrawal along with ‘anxiety, nervousness, headaches, nausea, insomnia, seizures, and hallucinations’ (source). A person with alcoholism may develop some psychological effects too, such as slack off at work, neglect family, school, or other responsibilities. Some may even become violent.

This violence is what is represented in Theodore Roethke’s poem ‘My Papa’s Waltz’. This article on alcoholism helps me to understand why the father acts the way he does when he is intoxicated.

This article provides facts and descriptions of what child abuse is and what different types of abuse a child may experience. ‘When a parent or other caregiver causes or neglects to prevent physical, emotional harm, or sexual abuse,’ it is called child abuse (source). According to the CDC, assaults resulting in a death are most common in babies no older than a year. Physical abuse is the most well known type of child abuse, but typically psychological or emotional abuse have the longest lasting effects. The abusive action may not be intentional but as a ‘result of the offender’s own emotional health deficiency, the abuse prevents the normal pyschological growth of a child'(source).

New parents, single parents, and families that struggle financially are more likely to commit the action of child abuse than the standard family. ‘Statistically women are more likely to neglect children in their care, while men are more likely to harm a child physically, including abusing them sexually’ (source). Building closer family connections and educating family members can help in the prevention of child abuse. Being involved in churches, community service acts, or any volunteering as a family can greatly improve the bond between each member, which as a result, lessens the likelihood of any abusive action accuring.


Cite this essay

Amazing Poet Theodore Roethke. (2019, Dec 14). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/amazing-poet-theodore-roethke-essay

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