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The first stanza ends with the precise and meaningful "No one ever thanked him" (5). This sentence, placed at the end of the stanza and the end of Line 5, stands out as if it were alone, a separate thought, an afterthought. Hayden places it here to draw our attention to it, to emphasize the loneliness of the father.The second stanza is dedicated to the speaker’s feelings and his view of his life at that time. Hayden creates a sense of apprehension and fear that the boy felt toward his father and his home: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, (6-9)The act of going out in the "blueblack cold" and then conquering it and calling his boy when it was "warm" is symbolic of their lives in the real world. The father goes out to work in the harsh "weekday weather" to create a safe, warm environment for his child and to put a roof over his head.The speaker tells us of his fear in the eighth and ninth lines. He conveys the chilling, sullen aura of their home. In Line 9 Hayden uses metonymy by using "the house" to represent the people in it. Interestingly, Hayden does not explain the "chronic angers of that house." But one can speculate that the father is
burdened by his low socioeconomic status. Also, the boy could interpret his father’s distress and fatigue to be anger toward him. He recalls: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? (10-14)The speaker confesses that as a child he was apathetic and cold toward his father in spite of all the latter’s hard work and devotion. Along with literally warming the house, the father was a servant who performed such mundane tasks as polishing his son’s shoes.Hayden repeats the question "What did I know?" in Line 13. In doing so, he allows the reader to acknowledge the terrible sense of sadness and regret the speaker now feels. The poem’s final line completes the question: "what did I know / of love’s austere and lonely offices?" The child was unable to know the difficulty and sacrifice of parental love. The word "offices" denotes a service done for another. It implies that the father’s life revolved around serving his son. It also signifies a religious rite or ceremony ("office"). This ties in with the religious elements of the poem in that the father was participating in the parental ritual of sacrificing one’s own happiness for that of one’s child.The tone of Robert Hayden’s "Those Winter Sundays" is one of sadness and regret.Nothing Gold Can Stay Analysis:Lines 1 - 4A simple observation is given a twist in the first line, as the emerging shoots of green turn into gold, either a trick of the sunlight or perceived impression. A metaphor nevertheless, gold being that most precious thing, of most value.