Those Winter Sundays

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“Those Winter Sundays,” by Robert Hayden, is a beautiful poem. Hayden’s poem tells a grown man’s perspective of his father. In the poem it is clear that there is distance between them and little communication. But it is discovered at the end of the poem, that love is actually present. Although it is only a 14-line poem, it packs remarkable power into each line. The very unrythmed poem begins with a very simple line letting you know what tone and mood the poem is set in. The title “Those Winter Sundays”, also lets you know that it’s cold because its winter and that its Sunday. Also, that the events in the story took place in the past. As the speaker’s father is introduced, I am lead to believe that he is the he will be a main topic of the poem. The speaker in the story gave the image that the father was a hard working man. It is obvious that the father was a very hard worker by the lines, “with cracked hands that ached from labor in weekday weather”. In lines 3 through 5, the father’s effort and suffering are then focused upon. He is also tired from work and is in pain. Yet this is not enough to keep him from the necessary task of making a fire. But his family never thanked him for what he has done or have they acknowledged him. The man recalling the past knew that his father loved him because he didn’t show any affection toward him but little did he know his dad showed his affection by the work he did. So he thought his father was just there to be there and bring in money to help the household. So the poem comes to an end saying, “no one ever thanked him”. In the first stanza it seems that Hayden used great language to emphasize his meanings. Notice the sounds that he uses as he tells the beginning of this story. He is very consistent with the “c” sound which kind of adds the element of pain, especially in the line that says “cracked hands that ached”. Also as the poems continues through the first stanza you hear “weekday”, “banked”, and “thanked”. Which I caught and is almost not noticeable. Finally Hayden uses alliteration, which is defined as the repetition in the initial letters of a word, most of consonance. Adding smoothness and sounds to there lines he uses “weekday and weather” and “banked fires blazes”. In line 6, consonance continues as the Sunday morning experience is introduced. Here in line 7 and 8, the father calls to the son, who then performs the same act as the father in lines and two by rising and dressing. By them doing the same thing, the speaker has come to understand this childhood experience by eventually finding himself in the role of the father. At the end of the second stanza, line 9, it ends with a powerful line. It seems the idea of “chronic angers” is introduced into clam scene in which the father makes the house warm and comfortable for his family. The cause of the anger at the moment was not revealed. Throughout the rest of the poem the speaker really confused me about what was being talked about. I know that in line 13 the speaker used repetition a lot to identify and that it being to get very emotional. All of these facts lead back to when they where younger and him doubting his fathers love. Now he is realizing that his dad really did love him and just showed his loved indirectly. But since he’s grown now understanding what was really going on and how is father directed his love toward him.

In his poem, "Those Winter Sundays", Robert Hayden recollects memories from his childhood, over which he reveals his emotions through deep and powerful imagery. Notably, he creates a contrast with touch and auditory imagery related to cold and harshness, which establish a pensive and regretful tone, and warm images indicative of respect and appreciation for his father. At the beginning of the poem, Hayden introduces cold and uncomfortable images to relay his initial tone of regret with regards to not respecting his father. He...
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