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Those Winter Sundays (Robert Hayden)Sundays too my father got up earlyand put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,then with cracked hands that achedfrom labor in the weekday weather madebanked 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 coldand polished my good shoes as well.What did I know, what did I knowof love's austere and lonely offices? Introduction/Overview"Those Winter Sundays," a poem about a son remembering his father, and it makes clear that there was distance between them and little communication or even warmth. It is discovered though, in recollection, that love actually was present. It was just communicated subtly in the father's effort, specifically by building fires in the early morning that "dr[ove] out the cold." The poem seems to be a lament of the fact that the son, who at the time could not perceive such subtle expressions of love, never returned them. Lines 1-2: The poem begins with a very simple line that establishes the subject and the tone of what will follow. The title has already suggested the quiet cold of "winter Sundays" and this first line adds to it the notion of the early morning. The speaker's father is also introduced which leads one to believe that he will figure centrally in the poem. The simple action of the man getting up and dressing is sharpened as an image by the use of the interesting and striking adjective "blueblack," which describes a darkness that will soon be contrasted by the image of fire. This beginning might also be seen to suggest something of the father's character as well, as he is up before daybreak, and is the one to confront the cold darkness of the home.