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Nostalgia. “My Papa’s Waltz” – 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.

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my papa s waltz theodore roethke
“My Papa’s Waltz” – 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.

Questions:

  • How does the speaker of this poem remember his father?
  • What is the message of this poem?
i wandered lonely as a cloud william wordsworth
“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” – William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o\'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

Questions

  • What literary devices do you see Wordsworth use?
  • Where and how does the poem shift?
  • What is the theme of the poem?
journal questions
Journal Questions

Nostalgia - A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.

Write about a time that you find yourself thinking back to fondly, but achingly. Do you find yourself missing middle school? Did you ever live somewhere else that you think about? Do you miss a person that you no-longer see?

Describe the memories that you have of that person, place, situation and the mixed emotions you have about those memories.

nostalgia poem
Nostalgia Poem

After reading “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth and “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, we’re going to write a poem about our pasts.

You can use the memories you wrote about in your journal for this purpose.

At least 4 stanzas

At least 4 lines each

Incorporate a rhyme scheme “Cloud” ABABCC

“Waltz” ABAB