Discussion questions: 1. What's Romantic
(or not) about the poem?
2. How or why is lyric poetry a standard genre for
Romanticism? In what lines does
the poem seem most lyric or song-like?
3. What gothic
elements may be identifiable? What mood or tone do they build?
4. Given that the poem is written during the
Modern or postmodern era, how may
"Those Winter Sundays" transcend Romanticism to become
Modern(ist) or something else
by Robert Hayden (1913-1980)
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,
When the rooms were
warm, he'd call,
and slowly I
would rise and dress,
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?