roberthayden

Those Winter Sundays

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?

[Hear the poet recite his poem here.]

I gave him this one instead:

Those Winter Sundays- 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? 
Replacement Poetry

A replacement poem is when you have an original, in this case Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden, and replace all the nouns, adjectives, and verbs with words of your own. It’s an interesting exercise, you never know where you’ll end up. 

Original:

Those Winter Sundays

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 fired 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?

Mine:

Late in January

January too my sister stayed out late

and turned the car on in the starless cold

then with dry eyes that stung

from crying in the daytime ouse made

angered families yell. Everyone accused her.

I’d rise and see the headlights glaring, cutting.

When they were gone, she’d be gone,

and shakily I would go downstairs,

worrying the rising sun wouldn’t bring her back,

Whispering unheard to her,

who had lost her youth

and slept the sky away as well,

What could I know, she would scream,

of misplaced hope and quaking disappointment?

Bone Flower Elegy

In the dream I enter the house
    Wander vast rooms that are
       catacombs midnight subway
          Cavernous ruined movie-palace
    Where presences in vulture masks
        Play scenes of erotic violence
        On a scaffold stage     I want
    To stay and watch but know somehow
I must not linger and come to the funeral
    Chamber     in its icy nonlight see
        A naked corpse
           Turning with sensual movements
        On its coffin bed
    I have wept for you many times
        I whisper but shrink from the arms
         That would embrace me
        And treading water reach
        Arched portals opening on a desert
Groves of enormous nameless flowers
    Twist up from firegold sand
       Skull flowers flowers of sawtooth bone
    Their leaves and petals interlock
        Caging me for you beastangel
             Raging toward me
            Angelbeast shining come
               To rend me and redeem