The poem “Those Winter Sundays,” by Robert Hayden is about a childhood memory. The childhood memory involved is indeed one that the speaker regrets, but also gains knowledge from the regretful state of mind. There are many children who either do not realize the amount of sacrifices that their parents go through for their sake. Having children and being able to take care of them is very important. Some children can grow up feeling unappreciative without the discipline of the parents similar to the speaker. The poem’s childhood memory gives readers an example of how unappreciative a person can feel towards their parents.
Although some people may take their parents for granted, one should always be thankful for what they done. Providing shelter, food, and clothing is a necessity for every parent to do for their children. However, in the poem the father of the household would wake up, “Sundays too,” (line 1) in order to keep his family warm. Therefore, the poem shows that the father is not only working during the week, but also at home on weekends for the family. As the title of the poem being “Those Winter Sundays,” the reader knows the conditions of the weather are cold and bitter.
With adjectives such as “blueblack” (line 2) and “cracked” (line 3), the speaker reiterates the conditions of the weather and shows how the father suffered from it. The father never complained. Instead, he showed he cared about the family by keeping them comfortable and safe. As the speaker became older and wiser, he began feeling bad when he said, “No one ever thanked him” (line 5). The speaker now understands that it is important to appreciate his father because he realized, as an adult, that no one ever thanked him. Many people as they become older look back and realize how much their parents have done for them.
For example, the words “What did I know” (line 13) simply shows that he was once a child who did not believe his father loved him. Although the father’s love was not shown directly, he indeed loved and cared much about him. If the father did not love them he again would not have done the things he did for the family. The family members spoke “indifferently” (line 10) to the father meaning showing no care whatsoever. The son knew something was going on when he said, “Fearing the chronic angers of that house” (line 9). The father instead continued to keep the house warm and even managed time to polish his son’s shoes.
As the speaker got older, the amount of respect for his father grew massively. Although he felt that his father did not love him, he now sees the truth. One way someone can truly look back on one’s lives and feel as bad as he did is through experience. The speaker could be going through the exact same thing now as an adult; keeping the house warm for his family and even polishing his own sons shoes now experiencing what his father gone through. The speaker can now realize how to appreciate his parents. Works Cited Hayden, Robert. “Those Winter Sundays. ” Poets-Poetry, Poems, Bios & More, 1966. N. pag. Web. 21 June 2011.