Study Guide

Those Winter Sundays Love

By Robert Hayden

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At its heart, “Those Winter Sundays” is about love. No, not the ooey-gooey thing between young lovers like Romeo and Juliet, but the deep and serious familial love between a parent and a child. The type of love that gets you up at the crack of dawn, even when you’re exhausted from a long week of hard work. This love is quiet and brave; it’s not showy, there are no hugs and kisses and snuggles. That means, unfortunately, that it can easily slip by unnoticed.

Questions About Love

  1. How does “Those Winter Sundays” define love?
  2. Do you think that the speaker defined love differently when he was a child? Has his definition changed? What happened between the present and the childhood to which the speaker refers?
  3. What is the relationship between love and time in the poem?
  4. What is the connection between the sonnet form of the poem and the theme of parental love?

Chew on This

As a kid, the speaker was an ungrateful little jerk who didn’t understand anything about the nature of love.

One’s perspective on love changes over time. The speaker was just a regular kid whose understanding of love grew as he grew older.

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