'"'Those Winter Sundays'"' by: Robert Hayden
This brief and lovely poem captures the sense of poignancy inherent love in the father-son relationship. The reader is able to conjure a picture in his or her head with the images presented in the poem. Rhythm is created in the placement of certain words and punctuation, causing the reader to read the poem a certain way. The fact that the sentences in the center of the poem all end in commas, carrying over to the next line, creates suspense.
** Appealing to Our Senses:
Hayden makes the reader feel and suffer the bitter cold, by appealing to our senses of touch and sight. We can hear the sounds of the wood in the heat as '"'splintering, breaking'"' (line 6) and we can also see the light and feel the warmth. The family apparently did not have central heating, for in order to warm the house in the winter, he had to get up before the rest of the family and make '"'banked fires blaze'"'(line 5). The father"'"s love is expressed in the fact that he works so hard six days of the week, hard enough to have aching and cracked hands. His love is also expressed in the fact that despite the "cold splintering" (line 6) of the house, he gets out of his warm bed every morning to start the fire.
** The Chronic Anger:
The reader anxiously reads on, anticipating that an explanation of the persona"'"s fear and the house"'"s chronic anger will be given. Because a reason is never given, the reader is left to draw his or her own conclusions about the reasons for the chronic anger of the house. Perhaps the father is an overworked man who gives off frustration and anger; maybe he vents his frustration on others, maybe even to the point where he hits his son. Or perhaps he never lays a hand on or says an unkind word to his son, but his son is able to pick up on the fact that his father is on edge simply by his body language.
Hayden tells us that he gets...