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9. Nov 6 --Poetry.docx

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English 1022E
Nigmendra Narain

Poetry November 6, 2012 “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert 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? First 5 lines:  Title –winter connotes coldness, death; Sundays are a Holy day. (day of rest)  Speaker –a son father relationship; memory sequence  “The blueblack cold” –early early morning; blueblack sounds like bruising  Working man, hands ache from labour  No one ever thanked him –taken for granted  Imagery goes from (blueblack) cold to (banked) fires blaze  Use of consonance –instead of soft c sound, hard k sound  sense of things being hard Next Four Lines:  Warmth is occurring, but there is a kind of violence seen in the “splintering, breaking” diction  Slowly I would rise –fear right away  The house is personified as consistently angry –house not a home o House has taken on the anger of the families o Splintering and breaking of the family dynamic Last Five Lines:  Speaking indifferently –knows he can expect things regardless of how he treats him  Driven out the cold –like a hero, drove out evil  And polished my good shoes –for church? Great man, and also a humble servant  Father is: Grandiose and great but also a mere servant to the child  Ends with the “child” saying love is uncompromised and simple o He didn’t know the love his dad had for him as a child. Was unable to recognize these things as a child Overall:  Child’s memory of growing up in an unhappy home, but still a great amount of love, pride and respect for his father  No mention of mother  Length of a sonnet (not a sonnet!) –love poem to his father  Harder on himself than he is on his father My Papa’s Waltz –Theodore Roethke The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt. First Quatrain  Rhyme is ABAB –sense of doubleness like in a waltz  Father was a drunk.  Slanted rhyme is off perfection (dizzy and easy) to show the sloppiness and slanted aspects of the waltz  Iambic rhyme scheme (unstressed, stressed) 3 feet per line. o IAMBIC TRIMETER (3 like the 3 beats in a waltz)  Spondee at the end of the last line. (y—little unstressed syllable ) Second Quatrain  Trochaic foot –captures the chaos of the pans falling from the shelf  A kind of division of us and her o Father + son vs. mother Third Quatrain  His father is reduced to just a hand o A battered knuckle –could be from labour, a fight, violence, etc.  Scraped by buckle –kid is just waist heigh
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