English 254 Class #13 Monday, May 12
Roethke, My Papa's Waltz; Bishop,The Fish, One Art
Roethke: "My Papa's Waltz"
1. What is the poem describing?
2. What are the poem’s primary images, and how do they work together?
3. Analyzing the diction, what words stand out? What are the connotations associated with these words?
4. How would you describe the tone and rhythm of the poem? What's the relationship between the poem’s subject and its rhythm?
5. What is the child's perception of family relationships in this poem? How does the child characterize the father? The Mother?
6. Is the experience frightening or pleasurable to the boy?
1. What impression does the fish make on the speaker? Is the fish ugly? Beautiful? Why is the fish described in such detail?
2. What do the poem’s images reveal about the speaker? If you were to divide the poem into sections based solely on groups of images, where would you divide the poem and why?
3. What do the poem’s various figures of speech suggest about the way the speaker views the fish?
4. What exactly is the victory? Does the victory belong to a sportsman, an ethicist, a naturalist?
5. How is the rainbow formed around the boat’s engine? Why does the speaker refer to the “pool of bilge”? What does the rainbow mean to the speaker, and what is meant by rainbow, rainbow, rainbow?
6. Why does the speaker let the fish go?
1. What is the main idea behind the poem?
2. What’s the pattern of losses the speaker presents? Do you see any significance in the order? What feelings does she express about her losses?
3. How could the speaker have lost “two cities”?
4. What might she mean by having lost the “you” to whom the poem is addressed?
5. How does the use of end and slant rhyme and the rhyme scheme strengthen the meaning of the poem?
6. What is the speaker’s tone in the poem? Does it change in the last stanza?
7. How do you understand the last stanza? To what or to whom is she referring in the parentheses?