In “My Papa’s Waltz”, Roethke discusses a very heartbreaking and distressful situation. He talks about alcoholism in the family and how it affects the members of the family. Growing up in a family full of alcoholism and abuse, I can relate to the point of view that this poem is written in. Although it is very sad, all of these things the poet describes are true of a family cursed with alcoholism. Whiskey breath had always been a familiar smell to me until I moved to Baton Rouge.

The people in my household would drink all day long, starting with the morning cup of coffee and ending whenever their bodies just passed out from drunkenness. Whenever drunks come home from the bars, parties, etc. they cause havack throughout the house. Arguing and making lots of noise are two qualities all too familiar to me. People who drink will argue with anyone who tries to talk to them reasonably and will even get violent and destructive at times.

As for being a spouse of a drunk, I have never been arried but have experienced a scenario similar to that of being married. During high school, I dated a guy that was quite older than I and he was of legal age to drink already. Whenever he would go out to the clubs with his friends drinking he would always come home to his apartment and if I was there and everything was not clean and perfectly in order he would burst into fits of anger. He would yell, scream and throw things at me and even sometimes he would physically abuse me.

In the morning, after there was time to sleep off the ffects of the alcohol he would always apologize saying that he was going to slack off and try to quit drinking, but as we know that never happens. Finally in March of 1995, he went to get help and before we could find out if the long ordeal of the past four years was over God decided it was time for him to go to a better place where all of the problems would dissappear. Because of the horrible ways alcohol has affected me in the past 21 years it makes me not like drinking or going out to bars because it usually leads to bad things.

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