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Those Winter Sundays
Transcript of Those Winter Sundays
Literary devices Part 1
: The narrator regrets how, as a child, he could not see past his father's constant fits of anger and recognize the tender love and affection underneath.
William Choi, Jason Su, Kushagra Pandey, Majd Hawwar
By Robert Hayden
: The time before sunrise.
: To cover fire with fuel to keep in
an active state. (Line 5)
: Severe in manner or appearance.
: Persisting for a long time,
constantly recurring. (Line 9)
Rhyme Scheme and Format
No Rhyme Scheme
Mostly Free Verse: No rhyme/regular meter
Lines 4&14: Iambic Pentameter
14 lines long, 3 stanzas
Every day, even on Sundays, the narrator's father got up and dressed in the icy cold.
With his blistering hands aching from labor, he lit the fire in his home.
However, he never received gratitude from his son for all his hard work
Through the father's diligent, caring efforts, the narrator awoke to a thawed, warm house.
After the entire house was warm, the father would wake the narrator.
Dressing slowly, the narrator recalls how he feared the constant threat of his father's anger issues.
The narrator reveals that whenever he spoke to his father, who had warmed the house and polished his shoes, it was always with callousness and indifference.
The older narrator now regrets his blindness to his father's love and care underneath his constant, bitter attitude.
The narrator also recognizes how his father had desperately wanted his son to return his acts of warm love, but was constantly denied.
and lonely offices?" (Line 14).
Love is often associated with tenderness and gentleness, not austere or severity.
stere and lonely
ffices?" (Line 14).
"Austere" and "offices" each start with the same vowel sound.
"from labor in the
eather made..."(Line 4).
Weekday weather start with the same letter and sound.
"fearing the chronic angers of that house" (Line 9).
A house, which is inanimate, is described as chronically angry.
This burning heart symbolizes how the father warmed the house with fire out of love for his son.
It also metaphorically portrays the paternal love the father had felt underneath his displays of fiery anger.
Literary Devices Part 2
"I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking" (Line 6)
Hayden uses descriptive language to associate the thawing of the cold with the auditory sense.
Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on the blueback 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?
"What did I know, what did I know" (Line 13)
The phrase, "what did I know," is stated twice, indicating repetition
"I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking" (Line 6).
By speaking in past tense the narrator indicates that he has a reflective diction
Literary Device Part 3
Carefully interpreting one's actions will reveal to you his or her true emotions and personality.