352:338: American Literature of the 19th Century
First Day Essay, January 21, 2009                 Name: _____________________________


First Day: 1) In-Class Writing for today and 2)Assignment for Friday January 23

1. Please read, reflect, and write out your response to this poem on the top part of this sheet. How would you describe the relation between the "small boy" and his "papa"? Is the picture chiefly positive or negative? What is the the key evidence in the text? What outside patterns or knowledge comes up as you understand the poem? Please don’t just summarize, paraphrase, or describe the poem.

		Theodore Roethke:  My Papa's Waltz (1948)

		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		5
		Slid from the kitchen shelf;
		My mother's countenance
		Could not unfrown itself.

		The hand that held my wrist
		Was battered on one knuckle; 	10
		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 	15
		Still clinging to your shirt.

…… Please tear off and retain. ………… Write today above this line. ……………

2. For the 338 class on Friday. January 23, 2009, read “The White Hero -- ” The link is online on the class Web pag: http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~ehrlich/338/heron.html.

Please write 1-2 pages responding to these issues: What is the unusual way the story begins in the first few paragraphs? What do you understand to be the eventual meaning or message of the story? Why the title of the story? Could the story have been about a different kind of bird or animal?