In “My Papa’s Waltz”, Roethke discusses a very heartbreaking anddistressful situation. He talks about alcoholism in the family and how itaffects the members of the family. Growing up in a family full of alcoholism andabuse, I can relate to the point of view that this poem is written in. Althoughit is very sad, all of these things the poet describes are true of a familycursed with alcoholism. Whiskey breath had always been a familiar smell to meuntil I moved to Baton Rouge.
The people in my household would drink all daylong, starting with the morning cup of coffee and ending whenever their bodiesjust passed out from drunkenness. Whenever drunks come home from the bars,parties, etc. they cause havack throughout the house.
Arguing and making lots ofnoise are two qualities all too familiar to me. People who drink will argue withanyone who tries to talk to them reasonably and will even get violent anddestructive at times. As for being a spouse of a drunk, I have never beenmarried but have experienced a scenario similar to that of being married. Duringhigh school, I dated a guy that was quite older than I and he was of legal ageto drink already. Whenever he would go out to the clubs with his friendsdrinking he would always come home to his apartment and if I was there andeverything was not clean and perfectly in order he would burst into fits ofanger. He would yell, scream and throw things at me and even sometimes he wouldphysically abuse me.
In the morning, after there was time to sleep off theeffects of the alcohol he would always apologize saying that he was going toslack off and try to quit drinking, but as we know that never happens. Finallyin March of 1995, he went to get help and before we could find out if the longordeal of the past four years was over God decided it was time for him to go toa better place where all of the problems would dissappear. Because of thehorrible ways alcohol has affected me in the past 21 years it makes me not likedrinking or going out to bars because it usually leads to bad things.