"Those Winter Sundays"
In Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays" a grown person, most likely a man, recounts the winter Sundays of his childhood. He remembers the early morning events that took place and how much the events portrayed his father's love for him. The man realizes that as a child he failed to appreciate the hard work his father did in order to provide him with some basic necessities and some small additional perks at times. The theme of the poem is sad, and lonely. Assuming that the speaker is a man looking back on his childhood, the child was lonely, and possibly even afraid of the father. The child seemed to associate the father with "the chronic angers of that house." The speaker, who may also be the author, uses images and imagery to help the reader focus on the important parts of the poem.
Imagery is a plays a major role in this poem. The images used appeal to almost all the reader's senses with the exception of tastes. Beginning in the first stanza, the reader's senses of touch and sight are appealed to. For instance, when the speaker described the cracked hands that ached," the reader sees an older man with dry, cracked hands. This can lead the reader to a number of assumptions again of the man being worn out from his job, or possibly having arthritis which would lead to the dry and sore hands. It also appeals to the sense of touch and sight when it describes the father's hands and also when he "puts his clothes on in the blueblack cold." The use of alliteration is helpful here in McGahan 2
that it reinforces the coldness and bitterness of the weather outside and inside as well. One could almost feel the "cold" and see the "cracked hands." As the poem continues, the reader gets an idea that the father was probably in the industrial work force and worked with machinery because the speaker uses to word labor and says the fathers cracked hands are a result of the labor done perhaps in a factory working with fire and with no air...
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