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The Winter Sundays

The Winter Sundays

“The Winter Sundays” is a poem we have recently read in class. I understood many concepts from reading this piece. We also held many class discussions on it to help better out understands and hear other point of views on the poem. The poem is about a boy who lived his life poorly and is now about thirty years older and looking back. Robert Hayden grew up in Texas, around the 1960's. Robert is reiterating to the reader how his life was when he was a young kid. The life style he had was of a poor families life. He wished he could have the things the surrounding children had around him, and usually questioned why he didn’t.

The speakers father had a great role in why the family had the kind of life style they did. it was not done purposely but he could not do much. Roberts father worked hard and came across many hardships. He nonstop worked, and didn’t have much time for much else. He wasn’t around enough to enjoy the bringing up of his own children. With some families today it is still the same way. Some families are not as fortunate as others and have to like a life even under the middle class. There is nothing wrong with that kind of life style. There are many ways people can get out of living like that. Main example, and this was talking about in class, is education. Not too many people realize how important education is. Robert didn’t realize how hard his father had to work just to keep everyone alive and in check. As a young, naive, misunderstanding child it is hard to grasp why someone has to live the way they do. The father had to sacrifice many good times for work. Leisure time with the family usually is a must amongst families. Some parents can’t afford to give that to their loved ones, due to hard work. Having to work hard can be a result of many things. The father might not have been well educated, could not be given a better job due to ethnicity, etc. Roberts father has endured much more pain than Robert can think of. His father has taken exhausting physical pain, and stressing emotional pain. The father is taken for granted most of the time and not appreciated for the work he does for the family. That alone is enough to bring someone down.

All of this changes through out the poem. Roberts way of seeing things changes due to his own lifestyle. He has now grown, and it is about thirty years later. He is now living the same way his father had to live his life. Constantly working hard, barely trying to manage his own life, and families. He has now seen and also feel the pain his father had to go through for him. His father lived for him, Robert never saw that until now. Instead of doing the opposite of his fathers footsteps and trying to better his own life. Robert lead the same path and is now suffering the way his father did, he now understands what was happening to his father when he was a younger child.

The poems tone had many meanings. I and many others saw it to be a learning and sad tone. The messages/themes within the passage changed through out the story as well. A few were, not taking life for granted, appreciating what you have and many more. I can definitely understand where Robert is coming from, I just think he should have taken it another way and bettered his life.


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