Two Poems on Father/Son Emotional Bond

 
 
 
 
Poetry often expresses the deepest feelings, memories, and emotions of the poet. When the poem contains shared experience of moments shared between parents and children, it is often heightened in emotion and feeling. One of the strongest emotional bonds is between a father and son. In two poems about this bond, Theodore Roethke's My Papa's Waltz and Dylan Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, we see the strength of such emotional bonds illustrated. However, we also see a further element that links each of these poems, despite their differences in style and content. In both My Papa's Waltz and Do Not Go Gentle, we see sons who are figuratively and literally trying to cling to their fathers.

In both My Papa's Waltz and Do Not Go Gentle, the speakers are sons sharing an experience with their father. In My Papa's Waltz, the speaker shares his memories of how his inebriated father used to waltz him around the house, often to the dismay of his mother: "We romped until the pans / Slid from the kitchen shelf; / My mother's countenance / Could not unfrown itself" (Kirszner and Mandell, 779). As a child, the speak

     
 
 
 
    

 

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