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Poetry Essay Assigment

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Poetry Comparison and Contrasts
Poetry as an art has been used in both modern and ancient times to convey different messages. This poem attempts to compare and contrast the respective father-son relationships as depicted in Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” and Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz.” It particularly tends to lay focus on similar and different ways the said fathers interact with and demonstrate affection to their respective offspring.
My Papa’s Waltz
‘My Papa’s Waltz’ by Theodore Roethke is about a boy who struggles in a relationship between him and his father. In the first line, the poem clearly elaborates how his father gives the son a hard time. The boy explains the breath on the father’s mouth. It indicates that the boy is worried. The lines “But held on like death: such waltzing was not easy” suggest that the son struggled both physically and mentally. He tried everything to rise above the problem. The next stanza, however, changes the tone. There is a sense of happiness and joy. However, the joyful feeling does not last long. The tone changes in the third stanza, where he boy speaks of the father’s beatings. Physical abuse is inferred since the boy speaks of the father holding the wrist, perhaps if he were less aggressive, he would have held his hand. The stanza starts with the endurance the boy had. Despite the difficult time with his father, he confesses the love he had for his father.
The poem conveys the mixture of emotions that the son experienced.

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He loved his father but never liked the drunkenness that he had to bare. He would clearly prefer a better relationship where he would rather have a father that was not abusive and one he could talk to.
Those Winter Sundays
‘Those Winter Sundays’ is a book done by Robert Hayden. It also talks about a relationship between a child and his father. In this pome, the relationship is different compared to ‘My Papa’s Waltz.’ The poem is small and powerful about a father-child relationship and the mixed feelings that come with it. There is love, misunderstanding, and even hate. The word “too” has weight in it. The father wakes up on a Sunday to work. The norm is that most people do not and choose to rest. The father rose early making the rest of his family uncomfortable that it was for himself. The pome expresses some coldness in the poem, one that supersedes the cold in a room temperature. Such chill represents the presumptuous attitude that the rest of the family. The words “chronic angers” bespeak the moody domestic situation and the emotional tension that had no comfort. Past tense has been used in the poem to show a remorseful realization of the blind lack of gratitude that dawned on the writer. His backward look at his father shows a changed heart, he is rather warm and appreciative.
“What did I know” suggests his lack of knowledge and understanding of the sacrifices made. It is a deficiency that could be understood, though inexcusable, by the narrator’s youth and lack of experience. It never occurred to the speaker to thank his father, a man who rose early. The speaker fails to appreciate the fact that the father, not only woke up early to warm the house, but also did polish his son’s shoes.
Comparisons between the two poems
Both poems have some similarities and differences. One of the clear similarities is that themes of the poems. Both poems are about relationships between a child and their parent. Both convey the attitude and emotions that the children had towards their parents, which was unpleasant. Both children had difficult times in their childhoods with their fathers, however, in different ways. One child had a drunk father while the other had a father whose schedule bothers him.
Both speakers’ families encountered a difficult time with their fathers. The mother had a hard time with the drunk father and in the ‘Winter Sundays’ had a hard time resting when the father wakes up. The speaker in ‘My Papa’s Waltz described the abuse the mother underwent. Both authors also had physical discomfort. The fathers caused physical discomfort in different ways. One child was physically abused and played roughly with his father. The other had a hard time resting when his father woke early.
There are also differences in the poems. The narrators had discomfort in different ways. The child in ‘My papa’s Waltz’ was physically abused directly by his father. On the other hand, the child in ‘Those Winter Sunday’ was not physically abused. Instead, the discomfort came from the discipline that the father had. The kind of discomfort that the drunk father caused was one that would be considered immoral. The father did not work hard and would abuse his family. However in the other poem, the speaker’s father was hard working, an attribute that would be considered as positive. The only problem was that the child was ungrateful and did not appreciate it. The discomfort that he caused would not be considered as abusive, contrary to the drunk father.
The boy in Roethke’s poem is afraid of his father. The father is unpredictable even finds him menacing. H recalls the father as a menacing figure. In Hayden’s poem, the boy remembers him as loving thoughtful and hardworking. He has some regret for having failed to acknowledge his father’s efforts and love. He recalls him with respect.
Conclusively, both of the poems seem to bear similarities and differences. One of the clear similarities is in the themes. Both poems are about relationships between a child and their parent. Both convey the attitude and emotions that flow between the children and their parents. This is unpleasant. Both children find difficult times in their childhoods with their fathers, however, in different ways. It is apparent that one of the children in the poem had a drunk father while the other had a father whose schedule was more of a bother to.

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