Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day: "Those Wintry Sundays" by Robert Hayden

One of my favorite poems of all time:

Those Winter Sundays

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.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Prose so beautiful, touching.

I remember those days, long gone; but it was my mother or brother who made the fires. Sometimes, my father would have already left for work before dawn. Observer

Sus said...

Omg. I love this poem, too. What a lovely Father's Day choice.

I love how Hayden used the "k" sound to make me feel the brittleness. Then the father drives it out for the son. The son can "slowly " rise in comfort, yet he can't get over his anger...he goes back to that "k" sound with the word chronic. The anger is within Hayden.

Using the word offices for duty at the end is brilliant. The way way Hayden conserves word usage and lets us know his history is brilliant!

Thanks for reminding me of this poem today, Peter!

Tania Cadogan said...

Happy Father's day Peter and to all the dads out there, whatever gender they may be .

Hugs and smooches xx

Skip said...

I miss mine being so little. I'm so lucky I still have them to hold and kiss and snuggle.

Eliza said...

This poem always gets me all teared-up. Excellent.