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Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
Those Winter Sundays
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Those Winter Sundays

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  • 1. Those Winter Sundays- Robert Hayden (1913-1980)
    Annotated by Carolyn Griesser
  • 2. Those Winter Sundays
    Sundays too my father got up early
    and put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
    then with cracked hands the ached
    from labor in the weekday weather made
    banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
    I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
    When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
    and slowly I would rise and dress,
    fearing the chronic angers of that house,
    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?
  • 3. Structure
    3 stanzas
    5 lines, 4 lines, 5 lines
    No rhyme scheme
    First person
    Past tense
  • 4. Imagery
    Sundays too my father got up early
    and put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
    then with cracked hands that ached
    from labor in the weekday weather made
    banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
    I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
    When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
    and slowly I would rise and dress,
    fearing the chronic angers of that house,
    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?
  • 5. Imagery
    The poem begins with imagery that contributes to the feeling of winter.
    “Blueback cold” (2)
    “Cracked hands” (3)
    “Fires blaze” (5)
    “Cold splintering” (6)
    This symbolizes the narrators inner feelings. The winter imagery is used to represent his cold heart towards his father at times and the misery he felt while growing up.
    The tone of the poem shift and the imagery changes to positive imagery.
    “Rooms were warm” (7)
    “Polished” (12)
    The change shows the narrators change in heart about his father and all of his hard work. He realizes that his attitude was wrong, and his inner thoughts have been “polished.”
  • 6. Contrast
    There is a contrast between warmth and cold which represents the mixed feeling of the narrator’s childhood.
    “Blueback cold” (2) “Fires blaze” (5)
    “Cold splintering” (6) “Rooms were warm” (7)
    The warmth represents the good memories the narrator has with his father. While the cold symbolizes the anger and resentment he had towards him at times.
    At the end of the poem," driven out the cold” (11) is used to show that he has placed his negative feelings behind him and realized how much he appreciates all that his father did for him. The contrast between warmth and cold is not only representative of his past feelings, but it can also represent the positive and regretted memories he reminisces.
  • 7. Time and Space
    “Sundays too” (1) – places emphasis on the fact that his father worked very hard all of the time.
    “Weekday weather” (4)- symbolizes the continuous actions of his father.
    “Ever” (5)- shows the permanency of his remark that no one ever thanked him. Emphasizes his regret for not once thanking him.
    The poem is in the past tense which shows that the speaker is merely recollecting his past experiences. The time and space within the poem shows the changes overtime and the progression he has made in realizing all that his father has done.
  • 8. Emotion
    Sundays too my father got up early
    and put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
    then with cracked hands the ached
    from labor in the weekday weather made
    banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.  Regret
    I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
    When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
    and slowly I would rise and dress,
    fearing the chronic angers of that house  Fear
    Speaking indifferently to him,  Bitterness
    who had driven out the cold
    and polished my good shoes as well.
    What did I know, what I did know Reminiscent thoughts
    of love’s austere and lonely offices?  Sadness and regret
  • 9. Questioning
    “What did I know, what did I know
    of love’s austere and lonely offices?” (13-14)
    This rhetorical question is used to illustrate the narrators feeling of ignorance and regret at the end of the poem for not realizing how much his father did for him and all of the pain he went through for him to have a good life.
  • 10. What is the poem’s purpose?
    The purpose of this poem is to connect the emotions of the narrator to that of the reader. The poem focuses on the reflection of a person’s past experience which helps ignite the reader’s own memories. Through the poem the narrator reminisces on past experiences to show the realizations he has come to about his life and his father. The cold and winter imagery is used to symbolize the narrator’s inner feelings and create a mood that forces the reader to think deeply about their own life and relationships.
  • 11. How fully does the poem accomplish its purpose?
    Through the use of imagery, contrast, time and space, emotion, and questioning, the poem is fully able to accomplish its purpose. It forces the reader to understand the deeper meaning of the poem and reflect upon experiences similar to the one depicted in the story. There is a universal concept of regret and realization that is reflected in this poem. Its purpose was to connect the emotions to the reader and through the many literary devices used, it was able to do so.
  • 12. How important is this purpose?
    The purpose of this poem is very important. It is always good to learn from past experiences and move on and learn from them. The narrator was able to reflect on his experiences and understand that he was naive for not appreciating all that his father had done from him. The narrator’s reflection to his life helps the reader to make connections to their own life. The rhetorical question at the end is used to symbolize that the reader should also question their own past experiences.

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