Parents And Their Children
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Parents and Their Children
Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” and Adrienne Rich’s “A Woman Mourned by Daughters” are poems that are based on only one parent. In “Those Winter Sundays” the parent is a father. In “A Woman Mourned by Daughters” the parent is a deceased mother. While reading both poems it is clear that both speakers show regard to their parents; however, there is a concrete difference portraying both speakers with different attitudes towards their parents.
In both poems the speakers reflect on memories from the past that involve their parents. In “Those Winter Sundays” the speaker is a child that treated his or her father badly. In “A Woman Mourned by Daughters” the speakers are the departed mother’s daughters. The speaker in “Those Winter Sundays” was reminiscing about everything that the child’s father did for their family, in describing a Sunday “Sundays too my father got up early / and put his clothes on in the blueback cold, / then with cracked hands that ached / from labor in the weekday weather made / banked fires blaze” (Hayden 1-5). The speakers in “A Woman Mourned by Daughters” were reminiscing about how their mother raised them and how they treated their mother. “Nothing could be enough. / You breathe upon us now through solid assertions / of yourself” (Rich 21-24). The daughters realize, now their mother is gone, that all the things the mother taught them are forced on them more than it was when she was living.
The parents in both poems are equally strict but they also have distinguishing characteristics. “Cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather” (Hayden 3-4). This made it obvious that the father in “Those Winter Sundays” was a working man. “You are puffed up in death / like a corpse pulled from the sea; / we groan beneath your weight” (Rich 8-10). The mother in “A Woman Mourned by Daughters” is departed but...
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