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The essay should analyze/interpret one poem. Identify a specific theme or aspect of the poem that interests you and compose a thesis about it. The paper should explain and develop your thesis using evidence from the poem. Please have a clear theme.At least 750 words.
Those Winter Sundays———-Robert Hayden(1913-1980), 1962
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blue black cold,
then with cracked hands that ached [img>
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze..no one ever thanked him.
When the rooms were warm,he’d call,
and slowly i would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house
Speaking indifferemtly 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?
PS:It is very important. You must use any opinion of the following resource twice. And when you use it, please use another font.
In reading Robert Hayden’s poem “Those Winter Sundays,” one gets the feeling of the speaker’s finally having achieved enough distance from the subject of the poem to consider with equanimity what had to be a painful experience. But, of course, that painfulness is not the whole of it. The reminiscence, the conjuring up of the time that framed the reality of childhood for the speaker, is quivering with tension that is made evident in a number of ways, not the least of which is diction.
“Sundays too” the father “got up early,” the poet confides, and however the reader might feel in later lines about the coldness of the man, she or he has to deal with the fact that this man is not slothful. He got up early not only six days a week but “Sundays too…… The father performs a variety of services for the child: he reinvigorates the banked fire into a blaze to make the house warm for a rising that is not required before a modicum of comfort has been provided. And, not only did this father drive out the cold, but he polished a pair of “good shoes,” having provided, one must assume, at least another pair of shoes that are not so “good.”
But though the services that the father is rendering have all the potential for tenderness, there is a starkness that pervades the poem that is unaccountable. Why, for example, does it happen that “[n]o one ever thanked him”? Is the speaker in the poem an ungrateful child who takes the services of his father for granted? One slowly becomes aware that it is not only the child who does not thank the hardworking father. “No one ever” did. This then reflects on the person of the father. There must be something about the way or the reason why the father performs his parental chores that creates or requires the apparent numbness in the speaker, even over the distance of the years. The child is vaguely but certainly aware of the “angers of that house,” and there is fear that has to deal with an environment that does not clarify its monsters or restrain them to a proper time and place. Because the speaker in the poem does not know when the angers will erupt in the house, he is constantly in a state of terror that makes him speak “indifferently” to the father, even though that father has warmed the winter morning for the rising of his child. The warmth of the fire does not penetrate the atmosphere. Though the temperature in the house has apparently risen, there is still “blueblack cold” that must be dealt with.
The house is filled with “splintering,” “breaking.” The “angers” are not healthy, normal angers that scream from time to time and then are balanced by gentle tones and even healed with laughter. One is aware, though the words are not used, that the floors are constantly groaning and creaking with discontent and bitterness.
Reading Robert Hayden’s poem is somewhat like looking at an old photograph that is blurred, fuzzy, and darkened with time. At first glance, there are two figures only, but then as one continues to gaze, other forms or suggestions of forms emerge from the background, Where, for example, is the woman of the house? Why is there no one to minister in love or duty to those “cracked hands” that ache from working seven days a week? Are there other children in the house yet to be called to share the waking? What are the two people in the forefront of the “photo” rising to? It is Sunday morning and therefore suggests a time of worship and of rest, but there is a rigidity in the tone that emphasizes the same drabness, the same deep sadness that is apparently dealt with every day, Sunday no better or worse than Monday.
The last two lines of Hayden,, poem provide some relief from the weight of the preceding lines in one way and, in another way, seal in the great hurt of the recollection. It is a relief for the reader to know that the child of the poem has escaped the despondency of “Those Winter Sundays.” And, with the distance, there is at least some recognition of that confusion of the past as being touched with some tenderness that was then impossible to know clearly. The eye of the one who is remembering sees that time as “austere and lonely” still, but he also understands that the pathetic “offices” performed by an apparently wellmeaning father were, after all, informed by some kind of love remembered more than felt. Were the “banked fires” of these offices assumed on the death of the child’s mother or the desertion of a wife” For whichever reason, the ministrations of the father are performed like the recitation of a litany by one who has neither faith nor hope.
And the speaker, who now knows something of the awful precariousness of love, finds it in retrospect in the scenes of long ago-if not in presence then more poignantly in absence. But they are only that: scenes as in a photograph. There is no crossing over the years to rescue those “austere offices” or thank the man who labored in “the weekday weather.” So much that had the appearances of love, for some reason, now forever lost, tragically missed the substance that could have made “all the difference.” “Those Winter Sundays,” in that case, would have been lightened by a different glow.