Ballads of Remembrance by Robert Hayden

Ballads of Remembrance by Robert Hayden

Length: 559 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
In 1962 Robert Hayden wrote a collection of poems entitled Ballads of Remembrance. This collection is comprised of 36 poems that are separated into 4 groups. Each group refers to a different focus of remembrance; for example, one group focuses on the struggle of African Americans in terms of finding identity and a sense of transcendence. "Those Winter Sundays" is part of the group of poems that focuses on remembrances of Hayden’s childhood, past, and personal struggles.

Hayden had an extremely harsh and conflicted childhood. His parents were divorced at a young age, and his mother left him with a foster family in Detroit whose name, Hayden, he ended up adopting. He grew up in a very poor neighborhood called Paradise Valley, which was not a "paradise" at all. He had separate issues with his foster mother and father, who were both stern people. His father encouraged Robert to gain an education in order to lift himself out of poverty. Yet, at the same time, his father found it difficult to communicate with his foster son, who always had his head in a book or was constantly studying.

The lack of verbal communication between his father and himself can be seen in his poem "Those Winter Sundays." The overall impression of the poem is that love can be communicated in other ways than through words; it can be communicated through everyday, mundane actions. For example, in the poem, the father awakens on "Sundays too" to warm the house with a fire and polish his sons shoes. There is a sense of coldness in the beginning of the poem through the lines:

Sundays too my father got up early

and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold.

Hayden’s father is not only bringing physical warmth to him by making the fire; he is also bringing spiritual warmth to him. By the end of the poem, the reader feels an overall sense of warmth as the poet comes to a better understanding of his father’s unappreciated actions.

In terms of Romanticism, the idea of transcendence seems to be present in the poem in regard to the fact that the father-son relationship is beyond words. The relationship exists, but it is difficult to articulate. Also the idea that Hayden is rising to a deeper understanding of his relationship with his father is present. There are lines in the poem that state:

When the rooms were warm, he’d call,

And slowly I would rise and dress.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Ballads of Remembrance by Robert Hayden." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Apr 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=154840>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

- Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden tells about a child’s indifferent relationship with his father. The poem explains all of the things the father did for his child without being asked or thanked. It then jumps to the child’s point of view and tells what they say as a child as to what they see now as an adult looking back. The child, who is now grown, shows signs of regret as he looks back at how he treated his father, who sounds to have passed away. Finally, in the final lines the speaker realizes that the father’s relationship was filled with love....   [tags: robert hayden, father relationship, sunday]

Research Papers
707 words (2 pages)

Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden Essay

- Duty is a word defined in several ways by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. It is used to denote “a moral or legal obligation; the service required under specified conditions; and obligatory tasks, service, or functions that arise from one’s position”. It is a word used to speak of the performance of obligations to others in some fashion. In the poems, “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden; “Dulce Et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen; and “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning, duty to family, to a nation, and to ancestors will be discussed and its effects on the characters in the poems....   [tags: my last duchess, robert browning, wilfred owen]

Research Papers
1844 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

- Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden Those winter Sundays written by Robert Hayden is a poem to ponder for a while. The poem may look simple, but analyzing it deeply shows that is a complicated one with a well-defined sentiment of no appreciation and sorrow towards his father. These sentiments will change to the end of the poem. Also, the poem can be understood in various ways: one way could be a positive feeling from the writer towards his father or the other one could be a complaint about his father's toughness....   [tags: Papers Winter Sundays Poetry Poem Hayden]

Research Papers
618 words (1.8 pages)

Robert Hayden’s Those Winter Sundays Essay

- Robert Hayden's “Those Winter Sundays” In Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” a grown person, most likely a man, recounts the winter Sundays of his childhood. He remembers the early morning events that took place and how much the events portrayed his father’s love for him. The man realizes that as a child he failed to appreciate the hard work his father did in order to provide him with some basic necessities and some small additional perks at times. The theme of the poem is sad, and lonely....   [tags: Poem Poet Hayden Winter Sundays Essays]

Research Papers
748 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Commentary on Robert Hayden Poetry

- This is a short lyric poem about the speaker’s childhood. The speaker remembers how his father made all those sacrifices for him. The poem’s view point compares that of a boy and the perspective of him as an adult. According to the first line, there is an action that precedes the anecdote. As the poem suggests, the father wakes up early every day of the week to do work, including Sundays. Robert Hayden, the author, uses imagery and diction to help describe the scene. The diction helps exemplify the imagery even better, the reader can sense how the speaker’s home felt like as well as the father’s hard work....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]

Research Papers
943 words (2.7 pages)

Analysis Of Robert Hayden 's ' The Dust ' Essay

- Some people are born into the world and there are welcomed by a loving family ready to take care of them, for others awaits a life of pain and hardship. Robert Hayden was one of these people. Hayden lived in a very poor part of Detroit where he lived with his foster parents. His foster parents would be fighting nonstop and that took a toll on Hayden as young kid as he was traumatized by the events. Life would get better as Hayden grew older, he was fascinated with literature and eventually went on to become a world recognized poet....   [tags: Family, Poetry, Foster care, Fosterage]

Research Papers
1055 words (3 pages)

Robert Hayden 's Poem ' The Diver ' Essay example

- According to Sigmund Freud, “the uncanny is that class of the frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar” (825). In Robert Hayden’s poem The Diver, the uncanny sneaks upon the reader as the speaker is descending further into the depths of the sea, and the unconscious. The use of Freud 's uncanny evokes fear and uncertainty in the reader as they delve deeper into the unconscious. Hayden uses alliteration to play with repression and turns familiar scenes into the unfamiliar to emphasize swimming in and out of the conscious and unconscious mind....   [tags: Unconscious mind, Mind, Consciousness]

Research Papers
1029 words (2.9 pages)

`` Those Winter Sundays `` By Robert Hayden Essay

- Robert Hayden is an author whose childhood, like many others, helped shaped his perception on life. As a child, Hayden suffered through a family crises where his biological parents separated after his birth and soon after, he became the foster son of his neighbors (Gates and Smith, 225). This crucial family division has lead Hayden to write many works demonstrating his hardships throughout this experience. Focusing on one of his poems “Those Winter Sundays,” he depicts the troublesome relationship between his foster father, as discussed in class, and himself....   [tags: Poetry, Family, Foster care, Fosterage]

Research Papers
1001 words (2.9 pages)

Those Winter Sundays By Robert Hayden Essay

- Many people don’t recognize others’ expressions of love. For instance, children may not realize that simple actions made by their parents are their parents’ way of saying “I love you.” In the poem, “Those Winter Sundays,” Robert Hayden describes an adult who regrets not appreciating his father as a child, and who now has a better understanding of the challenging and occasionally lonely responsibilities of a parent. The way in which Hayden describes the father’s and the narrator’s actions, his use of K and hard C words, and his portrayal of love in the last line of the poem illuminate Hayden’s message that parents will do and sacrifice anything for their children out of love and, therefore, o...   [tags: Parent, Family, Father, Mother]

Research Papers
1111 words (3.2 pages)

The Poetry of Robert Hayden Essay

- Although the majority of Robert Hayden's writings address racial themes and depicts events in African-American history, he also wrote short poems that capture his own personal experiences. Hayden has an enormous amount of great poems and short stories, but as I read through many of them, I was touched by two specific poems that I felt I could personally relate to. I chose these poems because I am able to put myself into the story-line and understand what the writer is talking about. I believe that a good writer is able to reach any reader regardless of race, gender, or age....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]

Research Papers
1667 words (4.8 pages)



The literal image of rising and awaking could possibly be mirroring Hayden’s rise to a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the relationship (Hatcher 275). There is also a sense of nostalgia in this poem in the lines:

What did I know, what did I know

Of love’s lonely and austere offices?

Hayden is looking back on is childhood and wishing that he could have been aware of his father’s actions at the time they were occurring. There is a sense of desire and loss. However, Hayden does not seem to be completely romanticizing his childhood. He still refers to the "chronic angers" in the house. He is aware that everything was not perfect in his home. Yet, he is also aware that love was present there.


Works Cited:

Hatcher, John. From The Auroral Darkness: The Life and Poetry of Robert

Hayden. Oxford: George Ronald, 1984.
Return to 123HelpMe.com