1 My lovely Sister-in-law in Atlanta sent me a photo of a tiny visitor to her garden. Thank you, V.
2 Today’s poem in Poem of the Day 2 conjures up a delightful mind picture for me. I hope it does the same for you.
MY PAPA'S WALTZ by 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.
“Here’s a poem by a Michigan lad, Theodore Roethke, whose father ran a nursery and greenhouse business in Saginaw. This poem avoids all psycho-babble about love-hate relationships, childhood idealization of the father, family tensions and conflicts, the borderline between play and violence, whatever. It avoids those cliches and trite formulations by instead seeing specific things and moments of experience — by imagery, in a word.
As you read it, avoid cliché reactions having to do with dysfunctional families, alcoholism, child abuse, and other newspaper topics. Such matters are real enough, but stock responses can block your perceptions. Instead, concentrate on the particulars.
Every image here deserves to be pondered and tasted to the full, for its emotional richness. The overall tone and feeling contains love and pain and humor and nostalgia all blended. This is a poem worth memorizing.”
I don’t know who wrote this but I found it here. I never thought of this poem as being about anything other than a Daddy dancing with his son. It remind me of dancing on my own Daddy’s feet and of watching my children’s Daddy dancing with them. We all loved the craziness of it all.
3 I have had a lovely afternoon with friends – chatting, eating mincepies and homemade cookies and planning next year’s meeting and social programme for the Cornwall Humanists.