A Comparison Of Those Winter Sundays And My Father's Song

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In “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden and “My Father’s Song” by Simon J. Ortiz, there is love found within by a man’s memories of his childhood relationship with his Father. “Those Winter Sundays” is about a man who is remembering the relationship he had with his father through regret, because he realizes how unappreciative he was. “My Father’s Song” is a man reminiscing on the actions his father makes when showing him the value of life and how to grow up. Within both of these poems the father-son relationship does not show verbal communication. In “Those Winter Sundays,” this lack of communication helps indicate the distance between the two, whereas the communication breakdown in “My Father’s Song” reflects the connection that the two …show more content…
We understand that the son misses his father, specifically his voice. He misses and admires him by remembering their time together. We get our first point of the speakers perspective when he says “in something he has just said/to his son: a song” (6-7). We are introduced to the song here, not a song in the traditional sense, but about the father’s song of life that he shares with his son. This speaker’s perspective is a son whose father taught him how to grow up and become mature, along with learning his way and the background of being Native American. So instead of remembering his father with regret like “Those Winter Sundays,” he remembers him with happiness. In the beginning of the second stanza he is reminiscing on the knowledge of the corn field. The line “We planted corn one spring at Acu/ we planted several times” (8-9) enhances their connection by the words “several times.” These words lead us to believe that he and his father spent a lot of time together. We move on to the third stanza where they discover the nest of mice and to the fourth where his father moves them to a safer place. This speaker explains his memory, and allows us to sense his connection with his father by his point of view it is being told in. To enhance this …show more content…
We immediately know that the son misses his father, but through Ortiz’s first use of imagery we learn that it is more specifically his father’s voice that he misses when he says “His voice, the slight catch/ the depth from his chest” (3-4). The speaker wants us to imagine the physical memory he has of his father’s voice pouring out of his “thin chest.” The image of his father’s chest isn’t exactly an image though; it’s a symbol of his father’s voice, but really a symbol of the “song” that came from that voice. This is where Hayden and Ortiz’s use of imagery differ. All of the imagery in Hayden’s poem was quite descriptive, and every time it gave us an actual image to picture; sometimes using metaphors. What we call imagery in Ortiz’s poem does not always do this. The imagery he uses is seemingly transparent, never using metaphors, as if they are symbols instead. The next example of imagery, or what we could call a symbol, is when he says “I remember the soft damp sand/in my hand” (12). Here Ortiz wants us to visualize what his experience was with his father, but he doesn’t want us to only see the imagery, but to understand its texture as well. The texture is soft, but he really isn’t describing the texture of the sand, he is describing the softness of his father which shows us the love and connection between the two.

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