By Robert Hayden
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.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.breaking. / When In A Ballad of Remembrance (1962), the line between these two lines reads: “and smell the iron and velvet bloom of heat.” While this line was deleted, the version in A Ballad of Remembrance is still a sonnet. There are other variants between both versions; mostly relating to where the line breaks.
When breaking. / When In A Ballad of Remembrance (1962), the line between these two lines reads:”and smell the iron and velvet bloom of heat.” While this line was deleted, the version in A Ballad of Remembrance is still a sonnet. There are other variants between both versions; mostly relating to where the line breaks. 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 who had In A Ballad of Remembrance: who’d driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austereaustere Grave, sober; and lacking adornment and lonely offices?
Robert Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays” from Collected Poems of Robert Hayden, edited by Frederick Glaysher. Copyright ©1966 by Robert Hayden. Reprinted with the permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.
Source: Collected Poems of Robert Hayden (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1985)
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