A Literary Analysis Of Robert Hayden's Those Winter Sundays '

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Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” is about a father’s love for his family, and how love is shown in even the smallest of gestures. The speaker of the poem is portrayed as a young man looking back on his memories of his father and realizing that he undervalued all the small acts of love his father did. The poem connects the ideas of how as you mature your perspective on the past might change, as did the speaker's opinion of his father did from a young boy to a grown man Hayden’s use of vivid visual imagery in the first stanza allows him to introduce the father’s character. Descriptive word choices such as “Blueblack cold” (Hayden Line 2) paint an intense image of how unfavorable the weather conditions are, which reveals how the act of heating up the house in the morning is an arduous task. The father is depicted as someone with “cracked hands that ached/ from labor” (Line 3-4). This exposes some of the father’s character, he is described as a man who does hard, laborious work during the week and continues to do that on his days off…show more content…
The speaker’s tone is regretful about the way he has treated his father. He notes that he would “indifferently” (Line 10) speak to his father, not acknowledging the work his father did for him. The sense of regret is shown in the repetition of “What did I know, what did I know” (line 13), emphasizing how the speaker has matured and can finally see the love within his father’s actions. The speaker’s use of “austere” (line 14) describes the type of love the speaker’s father demonstrated, a strict and more formal kind of love. “Those Winter Sundays” in its core is telling the story of familial love and how love does not always have to be verbalized, but can be shown in small acts of kindness. The key feature of this poem shows how one’s point of view can change from looking through the eyes of a child to an
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