Those Winter Sundays Summary by Robert Hayden
No Way Around: Robert Hayden’s Middle Passage
The tone of Robert Hayden’s "Those Winter Sundays" is one of sadness and regret. It is simple in form but its elements work to support a theme that many can sympathize with and appreciate. How unfortunate it is that as children we are so often unable to comprehend "love’s austere and lonely offices."
Poet Laureate Robert Hayden's Poem on America
The title of the poem is appropriate in several ways. First, it suggests that the poem is a memory in that it contains the word "Those." The word indicates that there were many Sundays like this one and that the memory is not of a single event but of a typical Sunday during the speaker’s childhood. Secondly, Hayden writes of "Winter Sundays" as opposed to warm, sunny summer ones. Winter, a time when everything normally fresh, beautiful and alive is dead and covered with snow, connotes both coldness and gloominess. These connotations reflect the boy’s distant relationship with his father and his coldness toward him.