Poetry Analysis: "Those Winter Sundays"

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In Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays”, the readers follow the narrator’s seemingly dark memory of his father: who worked, sacrificed, and endured many pains for his family, and mainly, his son (the narrator). As one reads, they come to see that this father is gratefully unappreciated. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the father is violent and abusive and the main contributing factor for why the narrator has come to fear him. As the narrator begins to end his reflection, he comes to a revelation and understanding of his father and seems to come to terms with the role he played in this father and son relationship. While in the young stages of life, many seem to lack an appreciation of those closest to us, our parents. It is only in time, when one becomes mature enough, do we see the reality of the many sacrifices, blood and tears that they, our parents, have shed for us and it is only than that one finally comes to fully appreciate those who gave us life.

Like many writers and poets, Robert Hayden writes about his past and the difficulties that he endured. Hayden himself grew up in Detroit with a low class African American foster family in which abuse, fighting, and suffering were no strangers. Outside of his home, Hayden was bullied and so, in order to cope with home and social life, he buried himself in books in which resulted in his career of writing. In this poem that Robert Hayden wrote the reader comes to see that much of his work comes from his own personal life. Upon learning Mr. Hayden’s background, one can assume that he, Robert Hayden, is the narrator telling us of his foster father in his early childhood.

To begin his poem Robert Hayden tells us of his father getting up on Sunday mornings before everyone el...

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...vel increased he came to a sudden revelation, perhaps it was because he was now a working man whose career focused on insight and deep understanding. All the readers know is that, from reading this story “Those Winter Sundays”, Hayden was able to finally understand and appreciate all that his father had done for him. It is this way for many, one may be too young to see it now but, in time and with an open mind, the true degree of sacrificed can be calculated in those child and parent relationships.

Works Cited

Hayden, Robert. “Those Winter Sundays.” Portable Legacies. Fourth Ed. Eds. Jan Zlotnik Schmidt & Lynne Crockett. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009. (305). Print.

Sanders, Mark. "About Hayden's Life and Career." Modern American Poetry. Oxford University Press, 1997. Web. 5 Apr 2011. .
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