Poem Analysis: Those Winter Sundays

In: English and Literature

Submitted By in1215
Words 839
Pages 4
Robert Hayden 1913-1980
Those winter Sundays
Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
Then with cracked hands that ached
From labor in the weekday weather made
Banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
And slowly I would rise and dress,
Fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
Who had driven out the cold
And polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
Of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Poem “Those Winter Sundays” is wrote by Robert Hayden, generally seen as a crafted lyric on a universal theme---paternal love, describing a past day and showing a present reverence for author’s father.
The title “Those Wither Sundays” emphasizes the time background. It is Sundays, not Tuesdays or Fridays. Sundays are days at home, days completely belongs to ourselves, days that we see our families the most. Hayden recalls the past and realizes how much he had to thank his father. It was a normal Sunday in winter when the author was a little boy; his father got up early, made the fire with his “cracked hands”, woke him up and polished shoes for him. The theme is presented directly and explicitly through every rich physical detail.
The poem doesn’t use a masculine pronoun; it sounds more like a woman’s. Through the choice of the gender of voice, I can see the speaker is a soft and sensitive man. Subtle wordings such as “blueblack cold”, “cracked hands”, “banked fires” sketch a simple scene with fine details; the repetition of K sounds (clothes, cold, cracked, ached, weekday), plosive B’s (blueblack, banked, blaze) reveal his sensibility and delicacy.
There are several allusions in the poem. For example, “fire blaze” suggests father’s love. Father came back from weekday labor and…...

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