COMS 304 California State University Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden Paper

COMS 304

California state university Northridge


Question Description

I’m working on a Poetry question and need guidance to help me study.

Answer questions below (in detail) based on the following poem:

Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early

and put his clothes on in the blueback cold,

then with cracked hands that ached

from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze. No one every 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?

  • What are the Operative words? Define them.
  • What Sensory Imagery is created by those words? Summarize and/or describe in detail.
  • What is the Tone? How does the author put together the sounds of the words? Be specific.
  • Where is the Literary Imagery? How does it help create the emotional quality of the poem?
  • What do you believe is the Writer’s Intention for the piece? What are they trying to teach or evoke in their audience? Support choice based on the above questions.
  • Definitions:
    • Operative word. the most important word in a phrase, which explains the truth of a situation
    • Sensory imagery is any description that involves one or more of the five senses -- touch, sight, taste, smell and sound. Poetry that is rich in sensory detail helps the reader perfectly envision the scene the poet is describing.
    • The Literary Imagery is where the sensory images are placed in the poem and how that impacts the quality, tone and meaning of the poem.
    • The tone of a poem is the attitude you feel in it — the writer's attitude toward the subject or audience. The tone in a poem of praise is approval. In a satire, you feel irony. In an antiwar poem, you may feel protest or moral indignation.
    • The writer's intention is the meaning or interpretation of the passage that the author had in mind when he or she was creating it. It also includes the meaning the writer is trying to convey.

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Final Answer



Those Winter Sundays
Date of submission




1. What are the operative words? Define them.

Office – In this poem, the word office means an obligation, duty or responsibility.
Apart from snuggles and hugs love is about responsibilities and obligations.

Sundays too – These words are used to show that the actions of the father not only
took place on Sundays but also on the rest of the week days.

Blueblack cold – The phrase tells us that the speakers father wakes up before
sunrise and it is super cold outside.

Cold splintering – This metaphor has been used to refer to the people inside the
house and the child fears the beginning of the day because those people in the
house are angry.

Chronic anger – This shows that the angers ...

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Boston College

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