Thursday, September 9, 2010

Toning Down "Those Winter Sundays"

In my interpretation, the poem "Those Winter Days" by Robert Hayden took on a distinctive tone through its two short stanzas. The poem's descriptions such as the "blueblack cold", the father's "cracked hands that ached with labor", and the "cold splintering, breaking" of the weather were all words of pain, harshness, or some sort of cold reference. By the context of this poem, the household of the speaker does not sound like a pleasant one. There also seems to be a conflict between the boy and his father, but it is not elaborated upon. I thought that the speaker almost seemed regretful at some points in the poem. When he talks about all the work that his father did but how "no one ever thanked him" (line 5) it stirs sympathy from the readers for the father. He talks of "speaking indifferently" (line 10) towards his father as well which leads to further curiosity of their relationship. I got the vibe that this poem was written with the idea that the speaker is dealing with an inner conflict regarding his feelings towards his father, for reasons unknown to the audience.

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