Friday, June 17, 2011

I Wish I'd Written This

Here is a very good poem by Robert Hayden I wish I'd written.

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.
When 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 driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices? 

from Collected Poems of Robert Hayden, edited by Frederick Glaysher. Copyright ©1966

Click on the title to go to's posting of Those Winter Sundays, where you can hear Mr. Hayden read this poem.  Click on the poet's name to learn more about Robert Hayden.


  1. yes, excellent poem though i have to say it was hard to take it in, now, in the heat of summer here. :)

  2. I remember reading this poem at some point in life and enjoying it then. I love the descriptive words and the fact that you can feel the cold leaving as you read the poem. It caused a lot of reflection for me then and it does so now. This was a great poem to use with Father's day being Sunday. Its amazing how important I forget my father is. Thanks for this read Danny.

  3. Wow, perfect poem for a father's day weekend, Danny! Yes, all of the taken for granted caring that receives no thanks. Isnt it the truth? Good pick!

  4. This is one of my favorite poems ever!


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