The poem introduces three characters: the father, the mother and the author. It seems to me that the author is a little boy, a boy being punished, perhaps for no or very little reason, by his father. Although the poem is called “Papa’s Waltz”, the dance that we observe vaguely remind of this graceful, peaceful and enjoyable dance. The couple – papa and his son - dance together with little harmony. The father is obviously dominating and taking the leading role. The dance looses all the pleasure for the little boy and all that is left is to follow blindly. The verse is iambic trimeter. This is the poetry's closest approximation to music's three-quarter or waltz time. But even this play of sound does not change the picture in front of us. The father is obviously depicted drunk. Perhaps just a bit tipsy, but nevertheless, the little boy suffers because of it. He is not directly hit but his ear does get scared. The mother is as though a passive observer. She is obviously not happy with the proceeding but does nothing to stop it. Perhaps she herself is a bit scared of her husband and does not want to interfere. Nevertheless, the little boy is dragged to bed. Not the best good night kiss in the world.
Household Fires – Indira Sant
The title of the poem is a sort of an explanation. Only the very end of the poem is connected with fires. The reader is introduced to 4 kids, 4 siblings. They all have their roles in life. However, why don’t the parents have roles? Why they are not mentioned? The older sister seems to carry all the responsibility of a parent, of an adult. She does the chores, works, pays, it is as if she is almost a mother. There must be a reason for it. There must be a reason for the oldest bother to have his own very important responsibilities. He is the support for his sister. He is there to help out with whatever he can. Brother an sister. They are as if the mother and father of the family, protecting the two smaller siblings. The reason for this was the fire. That fire that completely changed their lives. I feel great sympathy for the whole group of kids. All of them have lost something very dear and all have been put fact to face with reality. Their childhood is basically over. It’s time for them to grow up and learn to be adults. It is often very sad when kids need to become adults before even having the time to fully enjoy their childhood and youth. Life sometimes puts people in these situations and all that this person can do is try to keep afloat. Life is hard for them, but it keeps them close. They are all they have and they support each other. There is no longer room for any quarrels and all that is left is understanding, understanding that they have to keep fighting and stick together. Only together will they be able to pull through.
Bedtime Story-Mitsuye Yamada
The title prepares the reader for a nice and happy fairy tale. We are expecting a tale of beautiful princesses in their towers and knights in shining armor. The reader is ready to see dragons and adventure, but this is not that story. A bedtime story is meant to relax a child, but often it carries a meaning, a deep moral. Such is the story in front of us. The old woman keeps her hear kind. Even though is treated with much unkindness, she does not blame the people. She looks for the positive in life. But at the same time, her words are like needles in our hearts. We feel so much sympathy for her. Would we have let her in?
Nevertheless, this is still a bed time story at least functionally. It is a story told by a father to his little daughter, a story meant to do more than just entertain. The poem is short but to the point. It definitely has an unexpected ending, both for us and the little girl. This is s surprising ending as all were ready for something quite different. Moreover, we did not expect to get so touched, so touched by reality, by the cruel reality. The little girl is still learning, she does not fully understand the society she lives it and what a great way to bring kindness and understanding to her heart.