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take much time to thank the man for his efforts on their behalf. The speaker speaks primarily inpast tense, which shows that a regretful realization of blind ingratitude of youth that has sincedawned on the speaker. The speaker’s use of diction is especially compelling. In stanza two thespeaker uses the words "cold, splintering breaking" to reinforce the image of the earlier image of"blueblack ice” that was both climatic (relating to temperature) and circumstantial (indicative ofhis life at home). "Splintering" makes the image audible, visual, and tactile. The “cracked hands”capture intensive labor, and the fact that they “ached” was due to the continuous non-stop effortthe father figure engaged in to better his family. The speaker also makes reference to "chronicangers", the word “chronic” suggesting persistence, and “angers” suggesting the unhappinessof the domestic situation and an emotional heat or chill that brings discomfort. It never occurredto the youthful speaker to thank the man who rose early not only to warm the house but also topolish the shoes that his son would wear to church.The speaker’s shame and regret is expressed most poignantly in the third and finalstanza through his concluding rhetorical questions. He first asks "what did I know?", whichindicates a naive lack of knowledge and understanding of the importance of self-sacrifice. Then