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Analysis and comments on since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings

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Comment 72 of 450, added on June 2nd, 2012 at 5:05 AM.

that he/she “hung on like death.” The words and phrases chseon for this
poem often appear to be negative or associated with negative circumstances
yet it was in the second stanza that it became clear to me that what was
happening in the poem was not negative but on the contrary, something
childlike and joyous.Examples of phrases that have this negative
connotation I’m speaking of are ones such as, “The hand that held my
wrist” (9), “at every step you missed / my right ear scraped a
buckle” (11-12), “You beat time on my head / with a palm cakes hard by
dirt” (13-14). All phrases sound almost abusive yet my interpretation is
that the hand holding the boys wrist is a playful one, the boys ear is
scraping his fathers belt buckle because he is short and his father is
missing steps in their messy waltz and the father is not beating the boy,
he is playfully beating “time” on the boys head. The father may indeed
be drunk but after a second read I feel he is hardworking, playful and
caring. Roethke uses adjectives and verbs that create, on the surface, an
image of abuse and therein lies the humor and twist of the poem. The title
of the poem “My Papa’s Waltz,” in my opinion, describes the poem
accurately because it seems that that is exactly what is going on in the
poem, the boy is waltzing with his father. The mother’s countenance that
“could not unfrown itself” (7) may be do to the fact that it is night
time and the boy is dancing with his father instead of getting into bed or
perhaps because the father has been drinking. Whatever the case may be, the
poem seems special to me because of how the imagery counteracts the
language used to describe this memory.

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Comment 71 of 450, added on March 20th, 2012 at 5:23 PM.

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Information about since feeling is first... (VII)

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: since feeling is first... (VII)
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 5427 times
Poem of the Day: Nov 30 2005

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