Thepoem “Those winter Sundays byHayden Robert is sorrowful poemdepicting a narrator in two stages when he was a child and an adult.When the narrator is a child, he is so ungrateful he never saw thelove and self sacrifice the father made. The father walk up in themorning made the house warm and polished the son shoes ready forthechurch. Good upbringing is one virtue that the father adores inthat even after busy weekday even on Sundays he woke up early too.
Theyoung narrator is so indifferent to the father. When he comesdownstairs he meets the room is warm and his shoes are polished well.We see a caring and loving father whose efforts go unappreciated andunnoticed by the young narrator. It is notable from the first stanzathe love and self sacrifice of the father went unnoticed…”no onethanked him”
Theuse of the word father in the poem shows the formal relationship thatexisted between the young son and the father. The word shows lack ofattachment between the two, the flashback of the childhooddeeds makesthe narrator regretful at the old age. He asks himself rhetoricalquestions to further express his inner guilty
Whatdid I know
Knowof lovers austere and
Theword lonely office” shows the speaker flashback look at hisunappreciative nature and hate towards his father.
Thewords blueback cold, cracked hands, fire blaze and cold splinteringreflect the inner feeling of the narrator. His cold heart towards thefather and miseries of life that he feltgrowing with a father arecaptured by these words. The word warmth depicts the good memories hehas for the father now he is an adult. It is now that he realizes thelove and warmth of the father (Goldstein, Chrisman and Robert 251).
Theword cold as used in the poem symbolizes the anger and hatred he hadtowards the father. The word warm and cold basically symbolizes hisregrets of his childhood deed to a father who sacrificed everythingfor him
Theword at the end of the poem “driven out cold “shows his change ofattitude towards the father who drove the cold out. The word “Sundaytoo “emphasis the father hard work that even on Sundays he neverrested he woke up early though he never appreciated him. The wordever also shows that not even a day did the son thank the father. Hisregretful nature is clearly seen in this stanza…”no one everthanked him”.
Goldstein,Laurence, and Robert Chrisman. Robert Hayden: Essays on the Poetry.Ann Arbor:
Universityof Michigan Press, 2002. Print.