Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

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In the course of a young man’s life, a fatherly figure is pivotal for the maturity and adulthood a young man needs to become a well minded wise man. In both poems, “Those Winter Sundays” and “My Papa’s Waltz,” the authors reminisce on a past event that occurred to them in their lives. These events are engraved vividly in their minds and both are having to due with their fathers. “Those Winter Sundays,” by Robert Hayden, talks about a memory that he wished wasn't real; a sense of regret in this poem is the main feeling that we as the readers feel. In “My Papa’s Waltz,” by Theodore Roethke, we see a completely different situation. In this past memory, the poet’s child-self is filled with fear and dread and we can see that this situation empowers the poets past. Between the two poets, they both don't deserve the situation they are in. Instead, if they were to somehow ‘switch’ childhoods, these poems would have not been written, and each poet would be better off.

“Those Winter Sundays,” by Robert Hayden, talks about his childhood and how his father went out of his way to please his boy and others, but never did he show any gratitude or appreciation. Now as an adult, the poet starts to feel guilty and miserable for never letting his father know he was a good man. The poem starts out by telling us the situations the poet’s father would go out into to do things for others, yet no one ever thanked him, he was unrecognized.

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. (Hayden 1-5)

No one ever thanked his father, including himself, and the regret and remorse eats away at the poe...

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...a poem of his father would have never been written. Since he didn't care about his father at youth, he wouldn't have cared for his ‘switched’ drunk father, so he wouldn't have been affected by it much. As for the poet for “My Papa’s Waltz,” he deserves the father like that of the one from “Those Winter Sundays.” Because the poet was such a loving and caring child, having a loving and caring father would have been perfect for not only the poet, but also for the father. If this poet were to have his ‘switched’ father, he wouldn't have written a poem like so. He would have had a much happier childhood because having a caring and loving father seemed to me, from the poem, that this was the only thing the child wished for.

Works Cited

Arp, Thomas R., and Greg Johnson. Perrine's Sound & Sense: An Introduction to Poetry. 13th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
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