Poem Literary Exploration
The poem entitled “Those Winter Sundays” written by Robert Hayden would be evaluated in response to the question: What is your opinion of the idea that regret is a common human experience?…
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The phrases that indicate feelings of regret were: “What did I know, what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices?” (Hayden, n.d., par. 3). This simply means that from the perspective of the narrator (the speaker), there was a sorry feeling that the good intentions and actions expressed by the hardworking father was not returned by family members who manifested actions such as “no one ever thanked him” (Hayden, n.d., par. 1) and “speaking indifferently to him” (Hayden, n.d., par. 3).
The personal situation that was shown in the poem was a simple description of a typical Sunday during winter when the father gets up early in the morning to chop wood needed to warm the house. The tone was sad and melancholic as indicated by the feelings of regret exemplified by the use of the following words: cold, cracked hands, ached, austere, and lonely. From this central idea, one would realize that regret is a common human experience that happens in every possible scenario involving human relationships: in the family, with peers or teachers in school, with community members, and with other people where interpersonal relationships have been exchanged. . I could empathize with the speaker as I am also guilty of not having much appreciated the good deeds, support, and love shown to me by my parents and loved ones. Most of the time, simple situations like having been served a good meal by my mother, being provided with the financial support by my father or the assistance in household chores by siblings pass by without proper acknowledgement or saying “thank you”. In situations when I am given the opportunity to look back at simple tasks, I realize that I share the same sentiments expressed by the speaker in the poem. Upon further analysis, the poem could be considered containing free verses where there was no clear rhythmic pattern. The numbers of lines per paragraph were also different: 5 lines for the first and third paragraphs and 4 lines for the second paragraph. On the other hand, there was no rhythmic pattern since the syllabications per line were diverse, as counted: 11-9-6-10-9 for the first paragraph; 11-7-8-10 for the second; and 9-7-8-8-10 for the third. The only pattern manifested in this poem was the repetition of words (cold) and the paralleling of ideas (indifference, lack of appreciation, chronic angers). The sound in the poem provided emphasis on the message being relayed. The recurrence of consonant sounds was clearer: blueback cold; cracked hands; cold splintering, breaking; chronic. There was a level of irony that was shown from the situation illustration by the words: “Speaking indifferently to him who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well” (Hayden, n.d., par. 3). Also, the message that the father has to do all the hard work and chores for fear of facing the chronic angers in the house further presents a situational irony in terms of expecting worse to happen despite the good deeds being done. As I get to reflect on the theme and the message relayed, there is this pain of regret one felt for not having duly appreciated and acknowledged all the support and hard work that parents have done for their children, in general. Children have tendencies to take for granted that it is the obligation of parents to
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