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?
I read and analyzed the poem “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden. Hayden writes this poem in memory of his foster father who took him into his household when Hayden was young. He is looking back on his childhood and reflecting on how his foster father was not appreciated enough, for all of the things he did for the family. Hayden, now being grown up, can truly appreciate the love and patience that his family had for him and how selfless they were for him, especially his father.
In the beginning of the poem, Hayden uses the word “too” to describe the type of day that his father was waking up to. He chose that word in order to show that his father was waking up on Sunday just as if it was any other day of the week, showing that there was work to be done. Then, in the second line of the poem, Hayden uses imagery to produce a chilling cold mental image in the mind. By saying “blueblack cold” one’s mind would think of a frozen black metal that has been sitting outside in the winter overnight. In the next line, he talks about his father’s hands and how cracked and how much they ached. This would be in reference to how hard he works and how it shows through in his hands. When he says that “no one ever thanked him”, Hayden is finally presenting us with the idea that his father was unappreciated. He explained how early his father woke up, in the cold, and how hard he worked during the week, but still was able to take care of the...
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