Robert Hayden's 'Those Winter Sundays'

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Jack Akers
Instructor: Mary Wallace
English 102-01
26 February 2018

Love and guilt: An explication of Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays”
In the poem “Those winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden, Hayden experiences both the feelings of love and guilt for the way he treated his father while he was growing up. In the poem, Hayden reflects back on the things that his father did for him, not out of necessity but out of love. At the time, Hayden took these things for granted and never fully appreciated the things that his father had done for him until years later when it was too late.
This poem is a fourteen-line three-stanza sonnet poem with no particular rhyme scheme or meter. In the first stanza, Hayden reflects on a particular Sunday where
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This also shows that when he initially wakes up the setting is still dark. Then we find Hayden’s father is waking him up when the house was warm “when the rooms were warm, he’d call. (7)” This quote shows that Hayden’s father cares a lot about him and it slightly changes the setting from being dark and cold to bright and warm all thanks to Hayden’s father. The reason why this shows that Hayden’s father cares is because he did not want to wake Hayden up when it was still both dark and cold in the house. Instead, he chose to wake him up once he “had driven out the cold” (11). We also find the author getting out of bed slowly “and slowly I would rise and dress” (8). This would not mean much if it did not connect to the last line of the stanza which says, “Fearing the chronic angers of that house” (9). The author is not using personification to describe the house as being angry at him. Instead, he is talking about his family being mad at him as a result for him being “slow” while getting dressed. Since the only family which is mentioned in the text is his father, then it can be deduced that he is talking about his father being mad at him for taking a long time. This gives his father the quality of being strict although overall this stanza shows Haydn’s father in a positive
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