Those Winter Sundays Growing up in New England one knows the true meaning of winter. In Robert Hayden s poem Those Winter Sundays, he uses many techniques to get the point of coldness across and also the point about how the speaker viewed his father. The best technique that is used in the poem is imagery. Without getting lost in the great use of imagery in the poem, one cannot forget the true meaning that Hayden is portraying, the imagery can help find the meaning though. The lesson in the poem is that the father made many sacrifices for his family, at the same time the speaker doesn t realize the sacrifices until he himself becomes an adult. The father in Hayden s poem made many sacrifices for his family.
The first sacrifice is seen in the poem s first line, Sundays too my father got up early (10). This shows that the father got up early on his only day off to get the house warm for his family. The word too from the first line tells the reader that the father got up early every other day of the week for work. The next sacrifice the father makes is that not only does he get up early he gets up in the cold, [the father] put his clothes on in the blueblack cold (10). Getting up early his a hard thing in itself, but getting up and knowing that you could be sleeping in a warm bed is worse. Instead of sleeping in his warm bed the father gets up and works in the blueblack cold (10).
The blueblack is the color of the sky on a freezing winter morning and is not a pleasant sight if you have to be up and about in it. Another sacrifice that the father makes is that he does manual labor in the cold all week, with cracked hands that ached / from labor in the weekday weather made / banked fires blaze (10). The image of the cracked hands is a sacrifice enough, never mind how they got cracked. The hands, most likely, are cracked form working outside with his bare hands.
The father maybe worked construction or some othe hard manual labor job and did these jobs so that he can make money to support his family. shows how the father did everything he could to make his family happy. The father worked all week and still got up early on his day off to make the house warm for his family. Even though the speaker never went outside too actually experience the extreme coldness he knows how cold it is form laying in his bed and now appreciates his father for doing what he did.
The speaker lies in his warm bed until his father calls to him to tell him the house is warm, I d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. / When the rooms were warm, he d call (10). The speaker lays in his bed all comfortable and warm, everyone can relate to that. No one wants to get up out of bed and be cold. The only person that did it, was the father, he made the sacrifice to freeze and warm the house. No one ever told the father that he had to do this, he just wanted to.
I picture myself doing exactly what the speaker did, laying in bed and pulling the comforter closer to me and almost hugging it until I know that I am warm enough and that the house is warm enough. The father in the poem calls to the boy when the house is warm enough to get out of the warm and comfortable bed. Instead of helping his father to warm the house, the speaker just stays in bed. The father definately puts his family first and does everything for them. In actuality even if the son wanted to help, the father would probably tell him to stay in bed and be warm. Getting up in the cold is hard enough, but then trying to function and move around is even harder, and slowly I would rise and dress (10).
After getting out of bed the body does not want to move at all. Your body is used to the warm bed and the blood is not fully pumping. After reading that line you have to give credit to the father. If the boy was moving slowly and miserably after getting up even when the house was warm, imagine what the father had to go through. I could never do what the father did. If I was the boy I wouldn t think of it as a great achievement, but the way that Hayden uses all the images I realize and the speaker now realizes that it was a more than a great achievement, it was love.
Knowing this the father in the poem could be considered a hero. Hayden knows exactly how a winter morning is supposed to be described. The speaker in the poem goes through all the same things that many people that experience the winter cold go through. Everyone that goes through this knows the color and the feeling of a winter morning, the blue and black. People also know the feeling of the warm and comfortable bed on a cold winter morning. Lastly people know the feeling of not being able to move do to the extreme cold after getting out of bed.
Hayden uses simple words to describe all these things, but with these simple words he creates an excellent image for those who have never experienced a cold winter morning and an even better picture for those who have. With all these images of the cold the speaker now realizes that his father is a great man. When the speaker was younger he didn t even care what his father did, he just wanted the house to be warm when he got up. The house was always warm for the boy and he now realizes what his father had to go through to make him warm just for a few minutes as the boy got dressed.
The father went out of his way for his family. After working a whole week, he should be sleeping, but instead makes the sacrifices for his family and he loves to do it. Now that the speaker knows what his father went through, he loves his father even more and wishes that he told him and thanked him for what his father did for the family.