Online Poems

for Craig White's Literature Courses

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 (maybe Realism?)?

Those Winter Sundays


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.                5

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,                                          10
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?