Those Winter Sundays Analysed by:Moira, AJ and Sarah Written by:Robert Hayden
Those Winter Sundays Sundays too my father got up earlyAnd put his clothes on in the blue-black cold Then with cracked hands that achedFrom labour in the weekday weather madeBanked firs blaze. No one ever thanked himI’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 coldAnd polished my good shoes as well.What did I know, what did I know Of love’s austere and lonely offices?
Theme and about the poem Theme: parental sacrifice “Those Winter Sundays” is about love. The deep and serious familial love between a parent and a child. The type of love that gets you up at the crack of dawn, even when you’re exhausted from a long week of hard work. This love is quiet and brave; it’s not showy, there are no hugs and kisses and snuggles. That means, unfortunately, that it can easily slip by unnoticed. Those Winter Sundays is a poem about a memory. The speaker recalls the actions of a father who each Sunday rises early to dutifully make a fire and polish the good shoes for his son. It's only later on in life that the child becomes aware of the sacrifice his father, a hard working parent, made.And, in each stanza, there are hints of a cold, distant relationship between father and son which is never really reconciled. The speaker is quite helpless in this questioning present, conditioned by the fears from past household experiences.The poem is short, only 14 lines, and is split into three stanzas, each with a sadness that builds up to the final two lines.
Robert Hayden Who was he?Robert Hayden (August 4, 1913 – February 25, 1980) was an American poet, essayist, and educator. He served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1976 to 1978, a role today known as US Poet Laureate. He was the first African-American writer to hold the office.