“Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden
Perhaps the poem is a description of the coziness and the joy of Sundays during winter; a time for indoors, family, hot chocolate, etc. I expect much imagery pertaining to cold weather, togetherness, and other winter wonderland type visuals. The word “those” is used to describe the winter Sundays, so therefore it is looked at as a common topic. Paraphrase:
Both the son and his father got up early on Sundays, his father put his clothes on in the cold, and with his aching, cracked hands from the labor and weather, he put on the fire, and no one thanked him. The son woke up to feel the cold break with the fire, and his father called him when it was warm, he would dress, so that his father would not lecture him. The son spoke indifferently to the man who drove out the cold and polished his shoes. He explains that he didn’t know of love’s austere and lonely offices. Speaker:
The speaker could be Robert Hayden himself, describing his regret for not appreciating his loving father. He is depicted in the poem as a little boy, oblivious to his father’s hard work and care and only concern about his dislike for the lectures. He regrets “speaking indifferently” (10) to his father and explains, “What did I know, what did I know of love...” (13). Figurative Language:`
In the first stanza there is much repetition of consonants, “The blueblack cold, with cracked hands that ached, from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him” (2-5). Consonance in the repetition of the sound, “ck” emphasizes the severity and hardness of work the father endured and sad truth that he wasn’t thanked. In the second stanza the sound “ing” is repeated to show that the cold in the house broke with the crack of the fire that the father produced; “the cold splintering, breaking” (6). Synesthesia is used in the second line of the first stanza; “put on his clothes in the blueblack...
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