What is the setting of "My Papa's Waltz"?What words does the poet use to describe the setting?  Do any particularly draw your attention?

Asked on by albadea

1 Answer | Add Yours

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Typically in poetry, we talk about a "scene" rather than the "setting," as that could be completely irrelevant as well as impossible to discern.  By using the word "setting" here, I assume the point is to determine the likely time and place of the action of the poem.

Based on the presence of "mother" and reference to "father" (in the title) added to the clue of the pans falling from "kitchen shelf" it is certain that the scene is inside the childhood home of the speaker.  I tend to think of the pans falling after they have been used for dinner, but because the speaker is waltzed "off to bed" it takes place earlier than a typical child's bedtime.

The exact location (like city or state) as well as year are unimportant here.  Note, this is why in the vocabulary of poetry, scene is used over setting.

We’ve answered 319,857 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question