Poetry Analysis: "Those Winter Sundays" Essay

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In Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays”, the readers follow the narrator’s seemingly dark memory of his father: who worked, sacrificed, and endured many pains for his family, and mainly, his son (the narrator). As one reads, they come to see that this father is gratefully unappreciated. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the father is violent and abusive and the main contributing factor for why the narrator has come to fear him. As the narrator begins to end his reflection, he comes to a revelation and understanding of his father and seems to come to terms with the role he played in this father and son relationship. While in the young stages of life, many seem to lack an appreciation of those closest to us, our parents. It is only in …show more content…
Obviously his father was a hard working man who did physical labor as a living. At the end of the first part of this poem, Hayden, states that “no one ever thanked [his father]” (line 5). After reading this we know that the dad takes the time to get a fire started, which is a courtesy to everyone in the house, and that no one seems to appreciate this simple deed. One can assume that if one isn’t thankful for even the smallest things than, how could one be thankful for the bigger and more important things? The middle part of the poem, Hayden is woken up by his father. He says that “slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house” (lines 9 & 10). Here we learn that he doesn’t wait 5 minutes to wake up, he does it immediately yet slowly, and this we learn is due to fear. We know from Hayden’s past that there was violence and abuse. But this wasn’t just a onetime kind of ordeal, it was constant. After seeing it all first hand, the first thing that was invoked in him was fear, a fear that stuck with him in forms like depression. Just to point it out, the father had at least some courtesy to wake his son when “the rooms were warm” (line 7). Now from this one can assume that the family perhaps may have had good moments, the constant struggle may not have been a day to day basis. Robert Hayden begins to end his poem by telling us how he treated his dad. He spoke to his father

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