'Those Winter Sundays' by Robert Hayden Essay

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'Those Winter Sundays' by Robert Hayden The voice of this poem is an adult looking back to when they were a child. The title itself sounds cold and dark and the Sundays seem to be significant themselves. We do not know whether or not the child is a boy or a girl. The poem was written by Robert Hayden in 1966. The poem is written with the voice of the poem looking back to the way his father would rise early to make sure that the house was warm when the child woke up. It is written in three verses with four to five lines. The tone changes several times. The first line sounds negative and dark but in two lines it begins to sound very poignant. From the tone in the beginning of the second verse we start to feel comfortable and safe because of the choice of words and general feel of the line. The rest of the poem has a sinister, strange, fearful and regretful tone. The different tones give the poem a lonely, sad and strange mood at different stages. In the second line, the words “blueblack cold” are used to create a cold, dark image of midnight, early mornings and bruises which are very negative images that have been formed in our minds. When the voice describes their father’s hands as “cracked hands that ached from labour” we imagine very demanding physical labour, maybe outdoors. We then get the image of a blazing fire which immediately transforms the mood of the poem to a more cosy feel. Throughout the poem we get imagery, both positive and negative. The poem is about a child who has been abused by their father. They do not feel loved and at times in the poem we feel the voice’s fear. There is no evidence to suggest physical abuse apart from maybe “blueblack cold”, but no child should be afraid of “the chronic angers of that house” or rise slowly, unwillingly in the morning. The child needs more than a warm house and need the love of a parent. The

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