Those Winter Sundays

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THOSE WINTER SUNDAYS BY ROBERT HAYDEN The poem ‘Those Winter Sundays’ written by Robert Hayden is about the regret the poet has of how he did not realise how much his father loved him when he was young. The poem is set in a house on a Sunday. We know this from line 1 ‘Sundays too my father got up early’. The weather at that time was winter. We know that from the heading ‘Those Winter Sundays’. The use of the word ‘blueblack cold’ in line 2 used to describe the harsh cold weather reminds us of thick grey clouds and dark sky which sets up the mood of the poem- dull and gloomy. There are two characters in this poem- the father and the son (the poet). The father loves his family and shows this by working very hard for them so they can have a better life. We know this by the use of word ‘too’ in the first line where it states that he even worked on Sundays in the house by waking up early to warm up the room and polish his son’s shoes. The father at times have sudden burst of angers probably due to the frustration of hard work all week long and the ignorance of his family. We know this from line 9 ‘fearing the chronic angers of that house’. The poet is the son himself. He did not appreciate what his father did for him and his father’s love when he was young. He used to speak normally like he did with everyone and did not speak to him gratefully and show appreciation for what he did for him. We can deduce this from the last stanza ‘Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. What did I know, what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices?’ The poet has written the poem in 1st and 2nd person. There are a total of 3 stanzas in the poem each containing about 4 to 5 lines. He has used visual and audio imagery such as ‘blueblack cold’, ‘cracked

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