Poetry Analysis: Those Winter Sundays, Advice To My Son, Zimmer In Grade School

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Those Winter Sundays – Robert Hayden

In Robert Hayden’s poem “Those Winter Sundays”, it seems to me like it is memory of the speaker’s father who wakes up early each Sunday to make a fire and polish the good shoes for his son. It’s only later in life that the child becomes aware of the sacrifice his father, a hard-working parent, made. In my opinion, this poem is deeper than it looks. Each line expresses a cold distant relationship between the speaker and the father. It could be a memory of their relationship that wasn’t too good or maybe they never realized how nice it was. The language conveys the intense atmosphere of that blueblack cold and austere brings sounds like seriousness, a strict kind of poverty, this gives me the idea that these parental acts were more a duty than a kindness. Clearly, there are many questions to what exactly the speaker is feeling and that at times is what makes a poem a great one.

Advice to My Son – Peter Meinke

In Peter’s Meinke’s poem “Advice to my son”, I think he writes about either a father or even mother explaining that the son should both live for the moment and plan for the future. The first lines are self-explanatory, as it literally says, “Live your days as if each one may be your last”. However, the parent is saying there is a trick to it. What is it? I think what he is trying to get at is saying that there is a trick to doing both at once. Even then, he states that there is no guarantee that his son will survive to old age or that his life will be a heaven. It could turn out to be hell. But that’s life. The narrator then begins to caution the son to take care of more practical needs, his wife, his friends, and his work. I think the advice given in this poem was meaningful and very true. People should always live their days like their last and make the best out of them. But always be aware that it doesn’t mean they won’t get any bad days.

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Zimmer in Grade School – Paul Zimmer

In Paul Zimmer’s poem “Zimmer in Grade School’ he expresses the view of either himself or someone else in grade school. Mostly about self-image. ‘If I peed my pants in class the puddle was always quickly evident’. To me that statement means that no matter what he did someone always pointed out the bad in him. His worst mistake always resulted with him having to face the blackboard. To Zimmer, Jesus and all the saints were frowning on his actions. It is obvious that Zimmer fears god. He expressed the thoughts that everyone was against him. His parent’s “wrang their loving hands’ So even though they loved him, they couldn’t deal with his ways either. He continued to wonder, if he was such a failure why does he even exist? He talks about his knuckles being swollen from combat, and the old nun’s ruler. It seems like he was writing about the abuse he put up with and the abuse he dealt with from others. Everyone was looking down on him through his eyes. Through all his experiences he feared everything. He feared learning, his schoolmates, and God himself. This poem really spoke for every child who isn’t happy with themselves, especially who aren’t happy with their body.     


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