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At that time, the Waltz was a relatively new dance in E by Wikipedia.Licensed under Public domain" data-lightbox="media-gallery-1567835166"The poem is built of four stanzas( quatrain ), each consisting offour lines.
The rhyme scheme is, in the first stanza - abab, in the second- cdcd, in the third - efef, and in the fourth - ghgh.
The meter istrecet iamb ( stressed unstressed - three times per line ).
Thecentral image in the poem is the metaphor in which the beatings aredescribed as a waltz.
The poet is led around the house, dancing - notbeaten around.
Firstly, the poet ends the poem with “Still clinging to your shirt.” Also note that the title has the word “My” Roethke could have simply phrased it as “Papa’s Waltz” .”My” denotes the innate love, possessiveness and sense of belonging he experienced with his father.
The father tries his best to establish a kind of harmony, but cannot.
The rhythm of the steps points to the harmony of the bond.
The phrase “round and round” implies the circle of life, that with repeated turns keeps them going together.
It can also be looked upon as the Petty Herst syndrom - meaning having a 'reality' so intense and strong that onefeels incapable of any other 'reality', fearing it can and will be worse.
Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured in dance: an early moving picture demonstrates the waltz. Licensed under CC Attribution Share Alike 2.5 license" data-lightbox="media-gallery-1567835166" English: Detail from frontispiece to Thomas Wilson's Correct Method of German and French Waltzing (1816), showing nine positions of the Waltz, clockwise from the left (the musicians are at far left).