In her work, Johnson analyzes the poem by Hayden in detail and resorts to evaluating both the general idea and individual thoughts expressed in specific language constructs. According to the critic, the text in question cannot be considered complete since it lacks both a univocal introduction and ending (Johnson). In support of this, the assessment of the first line of the work is given: “Sundays too my father got up early” (Hayden). The assumption that the father’s routine prompts him to rise early every day, including Sunday, is objective. In addition, Johnson notes the importance of the first-person narrative and emphasizes that Hayden recalls his childhood by conveying the sensations of the time. Thus, the background of the work is explained in detail and logically.
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Some critic’s ideas may be interpreted controversially and are purely her individual vision of the poem. Johnson notes that the father’s actions presented as “lonely offices” are associated with a religious background (Hayden). Nevertheless, despite the fact that it is a Sunday morning, the situation can be associated not only with church rituals but also ordinary household chores. Based on the content of the poem, the father woke up first before dawn, and the poet described him as a man “who had driven out the cold” (Hayden). Accordingly, those routine actions that the man performs daily may be considered his offices without a second meaning.
At the same time, a religious context is unambiguous in the work, and Johnson gives a comprehensive explanation for this, emphasizing the following words of the author: “polished my good shoes as well” (Hayden). Since the situation occurs on Sunday, the family is preparing to go to church, which is an established tradition. As a result, the critique is comprehensive and detailed, although more attention could be paid to the ending of the work and the interpretation of the concept of offices.
Hayden, Robert. “Those Winter Days.” Poetry Foundation. Web.
Johnson, Jeannine. “An Overview of “Those Winter Sundays”.” Poetry for Students. Web.