Comparing Poems 'Those Winter Sundays And Roethke' My Papa's

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The language chosen by Robert Hayden in his poem “Those Winter Sundays” and Theodore Roethke in “My Papa’s Waltz” clearly indicates the unique emotional and personal relationships between the two narrating sons and their fathers.

In Hayden’s poem, the narrator rises slowly from bed, indicating reluctance, after the father calls for him in line 7. This reluctance is likely born out of the narrator’s fear of “the chronic angers of that house” (Hayden line 9). The word chronic indicates literally the recurring anger in the house, probably among the narrators family, and figuratively suggests the recurring anger in the father, who in many circles would be considered to be the “house” itself. The narrator speaks to his father indifferently (admitting this in the poem), showing that the relationship between father and son is relatively weak. The narrator’s reluctance to get up, fear of the house’s chronic anger, and the indifference shown to his father indicates an emotional and almost tangible distance between the boy and his father. …show more content…

Here the narrator hangs onto his father “like death” (Roethke line 3) while they romp around the kitchen until the father takes the boy to bed, “Still clinging to [his] shirt” (Roethke 16). Though the tones of this poem suggest that the boy and his father didn’t get enough time with one another, the narrator seems to cherish this memory for whatever it is worth. The specific language, clinging, hanging on, and romping, all suggest a strong attachment of the narrator to his father, despite the suggestion that father and son may not see one another as much as they would

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