Austere Offices of Love - Essay Example

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The essay "Austere Offices of Love" aims to compare a father’s love depicted in Robert Hayden’s poem “Those Winter Sundays” with the personal experience of the essay's author. A father’s love is often wrought with complications, because of stereotypes of fatherhood and masculinity…
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Austere Offices of Love
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Austere Offices of Love
A father’s love is often wrought with complications, because of stereotypes of fatherhood and masculinity. Robert Hayden’s poem “Those Winter Sundays” expresses the tensions between fatherly love and masculine roles. At the same time, his poem reminds me of my admiration and love for my father. There is a significant difference though between the voice of the poem and me, because my father had a rather showy way of expressing his love for me. My father has been a positive character in my life, by molding me to become a decent human being, through teaching me the value of the Church, discipline, and sense of humor in living a happy and fulfilling life.
My father is the kind of man who enjoys going to Church, not because it is the only place of God, but because it offers a serene sanctuary for reflection. He had brought us to Church every Sunday, where we learn the Gospel. Afterwards, during meal times, we would discuss what the priest had preached and I did not know then that it was a way of examining ourselves and our lives, if we were following the footsteps of Jesus Christ. If the poem’s father was busy driving out the cold during Winter Sundays, my father also drove out the coldness of indifference to spirituality. In this sense, the poem uses logos to express the relationship between coldness and the warmth of human actions. My father helped us become good Christians, and as a result, he helped opened our eyes on what it means to be good, and to be good requires driving away the coldness of inhumanity in our characters.
My father inspired me to discipline through sports and hard work. He noticed my interest in soccer and encouraged me to play that sport, which I continue to do so up to now. He himself loves different sports activities. He has ethos when he tells me that sports is a good teacher of discipline, since being good in one sport entails dedication and practice. Furthermore, my father taught me the lesson of hard work. Hayden underscores how fathers work hard to raise their families: “then with cracked hands that ached/from labor in the weekday weather made/banked fires blaze…” (3-5). The pathos appeal here is that no one thanks him. But since he does his work all the same, he is an ethical character who exemplifies the idea of hard work. I can say the same with my father. He worked hard too to provide us a good life. He has the values and attitudes of discipline that I would certainly pass on to my children.
Sense of humor is a crucial aspect of character-building for my father. He has a positive outlook in life, as he maintains that every glass is half-full. The emptiness of the glass is a state of mind. For me, polishing shoes in Hayden’s poem is an appeal to pathos, to evoke positive emotions that have to be celebrated. Oftentimes, even when we have problems, my father uses humor to dispel negative emotions and to project a positive attitude. I can use the same attitude now in the military, where it helps to be optimistic with one’s mission and its challenges.
“Those Winter Sundays” parallels with my feelings of love for my father. He is an influential character in my life, because he taught me that being an active part of the Church and nurturing discipline and sense of humor are crucial to a happy and fulfilling life. I know that the best thanks that I can give my father are to emulate his ideal values and attitudes and to help transfer his positive attitudes in life to his grandchildren. Through these actions, he will know that he made my life “full” and never half empty.
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Hayden, Robert. Those Winter Sundays. n.d. Web. 1 Sept. 2011 . Read More
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