Dominant Theme in "Those Winter Sundays" and My Papa's Waltz"
Often through the poem you would find yourself reading "I'd wake" and "I know". "Those Winter Sundays" has three stanzas that are separated with even white space. The first stanza consists of five lines followed by the second containing four lines and like the first stanza the last consists of five lines.
In My Papa Waltz, the imperfection of the father clearly states. He poses a problem of drinking alcohol. Therefore causes the mother's persistent frowning and the pans skidding off the shelf. In Those Winter Sundays; the imperfection is not clear cut. However, one is hinted at when the speaker makes a reference to the chronic anger of that home, whatever the cause it shows that there exist imperfections. "Those Winter Sundays" and "My Papa's Waltz"; are poems that show the poets' respect and love for their fathers. This respect and love may not have been as huge concern to them when they were young, but now, more than ever they know why their fathers performed the things they had to and will exploit those experience to aid them in their life as adults.
Considerable age gap between him and his father, William, deprived young Robert of the opportunity to comprehend his foster father’s love to its full extent. William had to get up early every day in order to provide his family with the necessary comfort as well as the character from the poem did (Formann 8). “Sundays to my father got up early…the cold splintering, breaking” (Hayden n.p.). These lines introduce a serious point to the reader: a father sacrifices so many things and even his own health but creates warm for his son and his family. It does not matter what time is now, what weather is outside; the father realizes his duties and has to find more powers to help his family to start this new day more or less comfortably. Even if his actions are not noticeable for his family, somewhere inside, he knows that his efforts will be soon appreciated. On my opinion, each father has to think about his family’s comfort. However, this family has to take care about the father as well, but in this case, “no one ever thanked him” (Hayden n.p). A son in the poem gets a chance to analyze how unfair and terrible his father’s work actually is; but through the lines, the reader also comprehends that this son is not satisfied with the fact that his father spends so much time far from him. He is too young to understand that this care is much more important than just simple being together, and this devotion is the one that is reasonable and fair.
The mother, however, remains quiet. The core idea of the poem is true love and natural attachment of the son towards his father.
Formann, Wiebke. Family Portrayals in “A Ballad of Remembrance” – How Robert Hayden Dealt with His “Greatest Discouragement”. Norderstedt Germany: GRIN Verlag, 2007. Print.
Goldstein, Laurence and Chrisman, Robert. Robert Hayden: Essays on the Poetry. Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2001. Print.
Greasley, Philip. Dictionary of Midwestern Literature: The Authors. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2001. Print.
Hayden, Robert. “Those Winter Sundays.” Poet Seers. 31 Oct. 2009.