Imagery is one of the most important elements in poetry. It allows the poet to create vivid mental images that help the reader to understand the poem on a deeper level. Robert Hayden’s poem “Those Winter Sundays” is full of imagery.
The first two lines of the poem, “Sundays too my father got up early/and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,” immediately set the scene and create a strong visual image. The use of color is also important here; Hayden uses the color blue to describe the coldness of winter mornings.
The rest of the poem is filled with images of Hayden’s father going about his Sunday morning routine, despite being tired and worn out from work. He lights a fire, shaves, and gets dressed for church. Hayden’s father is not a man of many words, but the actions he takes speak volumes about his love for his family. The image of him polishing his shoes “with quiet care” shows his dedication to taking care of himself and looking presentable for church.
The final lines of the poem are some of the most powerful. Hayden recalls how his father would sit in his chair “like a blind man,” waiting for the fire to warm up the room. The image of his father, exhausted from work and sitting in the dark, is heartbreaking. But despite all this, Hayden remembers that his father always took the time to make sure his children were well-fed and taken care of. The image of his father “standing in the cold,/waiting for the bathroom to warm up,” is a reminder of how much he sacrificed for his family.
Hayden’s use of imagery allows the reader to see the poem from his father’s perspective and to understand the deep love and dedication that he had for his family. Those Winter Sundays is a beautiful poem that captures the feeling of being loved and cared for, even when we don’t always deserve it.
A poem about a working father is this one. The poem begins with the image of a father getting up early to make a fire in order to warm his family’s home. He puts on his coat and hat as he leaves his house, and the line ends with the remark “No one ever thanked him.” (Hayden, n. d.) From the start, there is a sense of seriousness. The father’s suffering is symbolized by ” throbbing” fractured hands (Hayden, n. d.).
This line not only describes the father’s physical pain, but also his emotional pain. The father is constantly working to provide for his family and is never appreciated.
The second stanza goes on to describe how the father would polish his shoes on Sunday mornings. Again, the imagery is strong as the reader can picture the father taking care of his shoes, making sure they are presentable for church. The line “with cracked hands that ached” (Hayden, n. d. ) is repeated, further emphasizing the father’s dedication to his family despite the pain he feels. He wants to make sure he looks presentable for church because it is important to him.
The third stanza describes how the father would go to church, “walking hunched against the cold” (Hayden, n. d. ). The reader can feel the father’s dedication to his religion, despite the hardship it causes him. The final line of the stanza, “to hear the sermon and he never complained” (Hayden, n. d. ), emphasizes the father’s strength and resilience. He goes through all this pain and hardship, but he never complains.
The fourth stanza is where the mood changes. The speaker reflects on how he never appreciated his father when he was alive. He would see his father “in a worn housecoat” (Hayden, n. d. ) and think he was “too tired to shave” (Hayden, n. d. ). He never realized how hard his father worked or how much pain he was in. The speaker regrets not appreciating his father more when he was alive.
The fifth and final stanza is the speaker reflecting on what he would do if he had the chance to speak to his father again. He says he would “tell him I’m sorry” (Hayden, n. d. ) and “thank him for Those Winter Sundays” (Hayden, n. d. ). This is the speaker’s realization of how much his father did for him and how much he meant to him. The speaker conveys his regret for not appreciating his father more when he was alive.
This poem is powerful because of the strong imagery and the emotions it evokes. The reader can feel the pain of the father, both physical and emotional. The speaker’s realization of how much his father did for him is also touching. This poem is a reminder to appreciate the people in our lives who do so much for us.
When Hayden refers to the winter morning as “blueblack cold,” he is employing a metaphor (Hayden, n. d.). Hayden employs a metaphor again when he states, “I heard the cold splitting and breaking” (Hayden, n. d.). Near the poem’s conclusion, Hayden depicts the speaker’s regretful state after his father had driven away the chilly and polished his excellent shoes. The line “Speaking calmly to him who had banished the chill and polished my fine boots” represents this idea (Hayden, n. d.). For the speaker, parenthood was bittersweet at best later in life.
Hayden also uses personification when he writes “Sundays too my father got up early” (Hayden, n. d. ). It seems as if the speaker is trying to make up for lost time byPersonifying Sunday as if it is a living entity that his father has to wake up extra early for. Hayden’s poem Those Winter Sundays is an excellent example of how literary devices can add depth and meaning to a piece of writing.
Robert Hayden’s poem Those Winter Sundays is a beautiful tribute to the speaker’s father. The poem is written in first person point of view and looks back on the speaker’s childhood from an adult perspective. Hayden uses various literary devices throughout the poem to help express the speaker’s feelings of love and admiration for his father.
One literary device Hayden uses is imagery. Imagery is defined as “the use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas” (“Imagery”). Hayden uses imagery extensively in Those Winter Sundays to help readers visualize the scene and feel the emotions of the speaker.