Those winter Sundays as written by Hayden is one of the most heart- wrenching domestic masterpiece which was among the best of his discovery and a definition. The poem discovers the synchronicity of the sound that was embodied in the reconciliation spirit in the poem. His tribute to the foster fathers shows the effectiveness of the understatement, artful imagery, and brevity. The poem is surrounded by the memories of the respectful father a figure in realizing the gratitude that commonly accompanies the youth (Mays, 2013). He never took a self sacrificing that the father could show every morning to be important but instead he took it for granted. But he regrets and is ashamed of himself for not taking those issues seriously.
In the poem, we find that the three letters “too” depicts a meaning in that Sunday should be used as the rest day and that people who work should be having enough time to sleep for more hours as compared to weekdays. In contrary to that, the poet’s father could not do that but he could just wake up early in the morning as usual to ensure that his family is less uncomfortable than they have been. Poems are said to create some of their effects through examination or the application of a single word (Mays, 2013).
The poet portrays the major images like those of cold and heat, and these images are understood to be audible and visual. In line two of the poem, “blueblack cold” (Hayden 1-2) recalls the blue bottle ice in the streets of winter along the ghetto where he narrator spent his childhood in Detroit.
The poem at some point defines the silent love whereby it starts with the poet’s father towards the son at the time when he makes fire. The silent love is seen to be reciprocated when the son asks,” what did I know, what did I know…?”(Hayden 3-4) the repetition tone here reveals more of the statement that a question since it cuts from the indifference to the admiration of guilty. It can also be taken as the fast time in the poem that dominates into the last word,” offices,” this simile expresses the continued existence that is required for the fatherly role and the enduring love of the work he does.
The coldness mentioned in the poem represents more than that of the change that is seen when the father is attempting to restructure by moving the banked fires into the flame. The chill also describes the family’s attitude is very ungrateful; nobody is seen to appreciate the father on behave of other members. These therefore in a reverse look, shows that poet regrets of the blind unthankful gratitude. On the other side, the backward of his father is tardily warm and is very appreciative to everyone in the house.
In the second stanza, the words “cold, splintering breaking” (Hayden 2-1) reinforce the image of the earlier “blueblack” (1-2) this was both ice and situational. The word “splintering” (2-1) in the poem shows or makes the images to be both visual and tactile as well. The “chronic angers” (“Hayden”2-4) portrays how unhappy the situation is in the domestic settings whereby we see unresponsive heat and the coldness which brings the miserable state in the family.
In all the hard work that the father to the poet did which included waking up early and ensuring that the house is warm and prepare everything for the son to go to school including polishing the shoes for him, he never uttered a grateful word to the father during his youth.
The poem in its setting, speaks of us from this present, but it flashbacks to his childhood which was cold. Based on this description, the imaginary view is that, the family lives in a big, drafty and the ramshackle old house which has a lot of fireplaces that keep the family warm. Despite the air or climate being cold, the poet’s relationship with the father is also cold as it’s seen in the poem.
Temperature is one of the symbols that are reflected in the poem whereby it is seen to be frigid outside and inside the house, but again we see fires lit. The temperature represents the inner feeling of the poet’s relationship with his father. The weather is cold, and the relationship with the father is also cold and emotional. An example from the title itself, the poem takes place in the winter. The poet’s heart is also seen to be winter. In line 10-11 we see the poet treating the father icily; he is emotionally cool and indifferent. We can also see that his father tries to create literal warmth in the house, but there is no emotional warmth revealed there. The poet doesn’t get the father’s literal warmth as an act of love.
The office is mentioned in the poem, and we depict it as a symbol “what did I know, what did I know/of love’s austere and lonely offices?”(Hayden 3-5) the word office can be taken to mean official post. In this case, it is used to refer the duty or the obligation. It reveals many duties that a father at this point could express and perform to the children. In the winter Sundays, there is a clear explanation that love is all about responsibility, duty, and the obligation and it never hurts.
“Those Winter Sundays”(Hayden) does not seem to rhyme but it is analyzed to be a sound poem since it has a bunch of assonances, alliteration, and the consonance that appear all through the poem. For example, we see “blueblack” and the “banked fires blaze “(Hayden 1-2,4)which shows the repetition of the beginning letters (B) the entire phrase is also repeated like in line 13 ”what did I know what did I know”(3-4) which is heartbreaking.
The speaker of the poem takes us back to the poet’s dark Sundays in the past. According to this present, is a forgone case but again it reveals that there wasn’t only one cold winter in which the poet lived, but there were many winters of such kinds, and the poet was never happy with them.
On experiences driven from these poem shows that Hayden never wanted to be charged with his skin color, and he didn’t want to be known as the African American poet but as an American poet of which he was not one of the American poets. The poem transcends race and the family in this case could be any family that lives with this chronic angers that continue disturbing them always.
Love .In the poem we depict various forms of themes, at the heart of the poet, “Those Winter Sundays”(Hayden) no matter the coldness that is explained in the poem, there is a sign of family love as the poet’s father tries to show them that inner love that he has to them.
Sacrifice is another theme in this poem as we see the speaker’s father being discussed throughout the poet’s view but it is again too hard to understand what the father goes through as he wakes up early and works hard to provide for the family.
Youth as a theme is seen the poet’s young age, the father lit fire, polishes shoes, pays all the bills just because the poet is young at this juncture and can’t be able to do all that by himself. Once one grows up he will be able to understand his father’s love
To conclude, the adjective “austere” (Hayden 3-5) show the tasks that are performed and also the person who performs them. Hayden, in this case, is believed to be a stern person who demonstrates the familial affection. This is conveyed in the “chronic angers” that emanates from the households where there are a constant fear and lack of grateful recognition.
Hayden, Robert. “Those Winter Sundays.” An Introduction to Poetry 13 (1962).
Mays, Kelly J. The Norton introduction to literature. WW Norton, 2013.
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