Understanding a poems cultural
context can often help our understanding of some aspect
of the work itself. The social, political, and economic
currents surrounding a writer can, and usually do, affect
the writers literary creation. Sometimes this influence
is direct, as evidenced in the title of John Miltons
sonnet "On the Late Massacre in Piedmont."
Sometimes it is more allegorical, as is the case for
"The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats.
Sometimes it seems so slight that the cultural context
of a work may be important only because it seems reasonable
to assume that all writers are to some degree products
of their time.
We have collected the following
documents to help you to broaden and deepen your understanding
of this poem. There are interactive questions at the
end of each piece some of these refer to previous documents
in the collection, so we recommend that you look through
them in order.
Collection: My Papas Waltz as Autobiography
Collection: Draft Versions of My Papas Waltz