Blueblack Cold Analysis

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To start off my analysis, it is important to note that this is a free verse lyric poem with three stanzas. The first and the last stanzas are cinquains, while the middle stanza is a quatrain. In Robert Hayden’s poem there are a few lines that are crucial to the understanding of the speaker’s tone, thoughts and feelings and to the understanding of the poem as a whole. I have found the following words and phrases to be the most important: “Sundays”, “my father”, “blueblack cold”, “cracked hands”, “labor”, “No one ever thanked him”, “cold splintering, breaking”, “chronic angers”, “indifferently”, “love’s austere” and “lonely offices”. From simply reading through these words, one can already start to understand the main theme of the poem; it is…show more content…
Here the author uses a figure of speech called synesthesia, which is when you ascribe a color to a feeling - in this situation the feeling is coldness. Another rhetorical technique the author uses is the repetition of hard consonants (that I have underlined in the following words): clothes, blueblack, cold, cracked, ached, weekday, banked, thanked, wake, breaking, call, chronic , speaking. In the the sixth line, “cold splintering, breaking” (6), the author is using a metaphor. He gives us a mental image of ice that is breaking in order to emphasize the levels coldness in the house. The most prominent rhetorical trick Hayden uses in this poem is alliteration: “put his clothes on in the blueblack cold” (2), “labor in the weekday weather” (4), “banked fires blaze” (line 5), “When the rooms were warm” (line 7), “love’s austere and lonely offices” (line 14). Lastly, there is a repetition, “What did I know, what did I know”…show more content…
The poem starts with “Sundays too my father got up early” (1), wherein “too” holds a whole lot of significance because it shows us that the father regularly wakes up early to work on weekdays, however he must also do so on Sundays, which in reality should be a day of rest. Furthermore, he wakes up in the most uncomfortable of environments - an environment that is “blueback cold”, which clearly gives us a visual image of the coldness - and, regardless of his skin-cracked hands, he stirs banked fires into flame, so that he can make the arising of the rest of his family less uncomfortable than it had been for him. Then the author writes, “No one ever thanked him”(5); although the father would sacrifice himself to wake up early and turn on a fire, no one ever showed any type of gratitude. In this phrase it also seems as if the speaker shows some sort of remorse for not thanking him when he was younger, which is shown by the punctuation and by the past tense, which show a very specific kind of tone. In the second stanza, the coldness of the room is reinforced by “cold splintering, breaking” (6); by saying that the cold is splintering and breaking, the speaker is making the image audible for us. Finally, towards the end of the stanza, “chronic angers” (9) gives us an idea that there is tension in the house or at least that there is unhappiness. This phrase together with the fact that nobody ever thanked him shows

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