A literary review of those winter sundays a poem by robert hayden

Those Winter Sundays Poem by Robert Hayden I met Bob Hayden in the late s when I, a callow high-school teacher, joined him and others in a textbook authorship project. A soft-spoken gentleman behind thick-lensed glasses, he put me at ease with his unassuming camaraderie. Other co-authors and editors sketched for me his early life:

A literary review of those winter sundays a poem by robert hayden

We feel that if only we had known then what we know now, things would have been different. As we grow older, our view of the world is altered through experience and maturity. As an adult the speaker has come to understand what regretfully had escaped him as a boy.

The speaker now understands how difficult and lonely the duties of parental love can be and how they are borne out of selflessness and without expectation of reciprocity.

A literary review of those winter sundays a poem by robert hayden

The poem is in open form with no rhyme scheme. It consists of four sentences broken up into three stanzas. In all its simplicity it could almost be mistaken for prose.

Each stanza contributes to evoking different emotions and builds to support the underlying theme. The title of the poem is appropriate in several ways. First, it suggests that the poem is a memory in that it contains the word "Those.

Secondly, Hayden writes of "Winter Sundays" as opposed to warm, sunny summer ones.

Expert Answers

Winter, a time when everything normally fresh, beautiful and alive is dead and covered with snow, connotes both coldness and gloominess. The final word in the title is "Sundays.

In the first line the speaker tells us that "Sundays too my father got up early" 1.

A literary review of those winter sundays a poem by robert hayden

And in the book of Genesis, Chapter 2, Verses 2 and 3, it is written that "He rested on the seventh day, and sanctified it. Another religious association with Sunday is how Christ died on the cross to save the souls of mankind.

This was his obligation, his duty in life for the benefit of his "children. Each man performed his harsh service in the name of love. As Christ died on the cross for his children, the father labored and suffered to care for his child, and in neither of these instances did the children recognize the sacrifice until it was too late.

In 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: 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. 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.

From this line the reader can surmise the extent of the ungratefulness coming from the child and perhaps the regret of the now adult speaker.

Hayden creates a sense of apprehension and fear that the boy felt toward his father and his home: 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.

Finally, as critic Floyd Irmscher points out, nowhere does the poem mention a mother or a wife. In the last stanza, the reader senses the deep regret the speaker now feels over his treatment of his father.

He recalls Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. This small image underscores the love the father must have had for the child. Hayden repeats the question "What did I know?

In doing so, he allows the reader to acknowledge the terrible sense of sadness and regret the speaker now feels. The word "offices" denotes a service done for another. It also signifies a religious rite or ceremony "office".

It is simple in form but its elements work to support a theme that many can sympathize with and appreciate.Jill Bialosky & Matthew Zapruder Jill Bialosky is the author of four acclaimed collections of poetry, most recently The r-bridal.com poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Kenyon Review, and The Atlantic, among others.

A four-time Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry, American Robert Frost depicted realistic New England life through language and situations familiar to the common man. Robert Hayden’s contribution to this impressive list of poems about fathers is highlighted by his much-anthologized “Those Winter Sundays” which employs the imagery of a father’s primary position within the framework of the family unit as caretaker to add to the growing literature of poetic ambivalence expressed by the mature adult.

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In the poem, ''Those Winter Sundays'' by Robert Hayden, the narrator is: an adult reflecting on his childhood. a father thinking back about taking care of his family.

Review the poem "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden. | eNotes

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. A. Cezarija Abartis. Cezarija Abartis’ Nice Girls and Other Stories was published by New Rivers Press.


Table of Contents All dates are AD or CE current era unless otherwise specified. Some dates are approximations or "educated guesses.
Search form Ten years ago, based on a Columbia University Press survey, the poem was ranked the th most anthologized poem in English.
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Those Winter Sundays Analysis - r-bridal.com My original conception was a short anthology of poems to live by. I saw a special on PBS introducing poems for children and it struck me that there may be a correlative for adults.
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