My Papa's Waltz
By: Theodore Roethke
10 Fun Facts about Theodore Roethke
2. Attended the University of Michigan
3. Most popular volume of poetry was the Far Field
4. He suffered from Manic Depression and was expelled from UM
5. He wrote The Lost Son and Other Poems in 1948
6. Received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.
7. 2 National Book Awards
8. 1959 Pennsylvania University awarded him with the prestigious Bolligen Prize.
9. He taught at University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and other colleges on Pennsylvania and Vermont, before moving to Washington and finishing his teaching at University of Washington.
10. He died in 1963 of a heart attack at 55.
My Papa’s Waltz By Theodore Roethke
The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.
We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother’s countenance
Could not unfrown itself.
The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.
You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.