How does he relate to the story?The poem itself suggests it is a memory, but not an ordinary single event but a typical Sunday. Hayden also writes about how it’s a winter Sunday not summer Sunday, this tries to show that in winter everything is dead, and this reflects on the boys weak and dying relationship with his father. Hayden was brought up by foster parents following the bust up of his real mother and father so perhaps the poem is an attempt to re-capture some part of a traumatic childhood.
Poetic devices It has 14 lines, like a sonnet, but it does not follow any of the conventional sonnet forms. Other devices the poet uses include: personification, in the "chronic angers of that house"; and alliteration, in the repetition of the "k" sound (ached, cracked, banked, thanked, etc.) and in the repetition of "s" sounds.low. There are also:1. Assonance 2. Alliteration3. Metaphor4. Imagery5.Enjambment(It is defined as a thought or clause that does not come to an end at a line break instead continues in the next verse.)6.Rhetorical question
In depth analysis Stanza 1In the opening stanza the speaker introduces his father. From the first line his devotion to the child is implied by the fact that even on Sundays he worked on behalf of his son: "Sundays too my father got up early" (1). Significantly, Hayden uses the word "father" instead of Papa, Daddy or Dad, father being a more formal, less affectionate term than those. This word choice reflects the coldness of their relationship.In the next four lines, Hayden uses alliteration to intimate the father’s pain and the difficulty of his life:and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,then with cracked hands that achedfrom labor in the weekday weather madebanked fires blaze. (2-5)In lines two and three, Hayden uses harsh consonant sounds in the words "cold," "cracked," and "ached" to evoke the harshness of the speaker’s father’s life. The father’s pain is felt through the powerful imagery of "cracked hands that ached." The reader also gets a sense of the lowly economic status of the household from words like "blueblack," "labor" and "weekday weather." One can infer that the father has a low-paying blue-collar job and that he works with his hands doing manual labor outside in the biting cold. The father’s strength is established in the fourth line when he