Those Winter Sundays

By Robert Hayden

Robert Hayden

Born Asa Bundy Sheffey into a poor family, Robert Hayden’s parents left him to be raised by foster parents. Hayden preferred books rather than sports in his childhood. Some of other poems can be found in his collection A ballad of remembrance. Hayden was the first African American to be appointed as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.


http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poet/robert-hayden

Those Winter Sundays (lines 6-9)

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, (The son is waking to the sounds of winter.)

the rooms were warm, he’d call,(The dad is taking care of him by making sure the house was warm and then calls him.)

and slowly I would rise and dress,(Then the son gets up to start the day.)

fearing the chronic angers of that house, (The son is fearing what going to happen that day.)

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Robert Hayden (Original Audio) Those Winter Sundays

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early

and put his clothes on in the blueblack 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,
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’d 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?

http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poem/175758

Theme

His father gets up super early every Sunday morning too make sure the house is warm and he does this after a intense work week. That shows the theme of how much he cares for his son and the extent he would go to make him happy.
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