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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact [email protected].

Those Winter Sundays

Read by Terrance Hayes. From the Academy of American Poets Audio Archive.
About this Poem 

“Those Winter Sundays” originally appeared in A Ballad of Remembrance (Paul Bremen, 1962).

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 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? 

Copyright © 1966 by Robert Hayden, from Collected Poems of Robert Hayden, edited by Frederick Glaysher. Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.

Copyright © 1966 by Robert Hayden, from Collected Poems of Robert Hayden, edited by Frederick Glaysher. Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.