Robert E. Hayden’s ‘Those Winter Sundays’

The Poetry Foundation has a beautiful, feature-rich website that includes a nifty tool called their Poetry Tool, which lets you browse their extensive collection of hosted poems based on a variety of criteria such as first line, subject matter, author, etc.

I was recently browsing the Poetry Tool and found this beautiful poem by Robert E. Hayden, Those Winter Sundays.

If you want to check it out for yourself, you can listen me reading the poem (audio link below), or read it right here:

Those Winter Sundays

Robert E. Hayden

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?