[ Those Winter Sundays ]

Poster¡G LINDA CHU at 11:58:53 11/19/97 from c549-13.svdcc.fju.edu.tw
The speaker may be a man ( for only "past tense" 
being used in the poem ) and he recalled the memory of 
his father in his childhood. The relationship between 
the speaker and his father is delite. the first stanza 
says when his father called, he'd rise and dress "slowly" 
( for he might be unwilling to get up in such a cold 
morning ) fearing the chronic angers of that house -- from 
this we know he was afraid of his father's power. I think 
his father may be the kind of person who seldom wear smile 
on his face and always appears severe. But it doesn't 
follow he didn't love his son. He showed his love by actions 
instead of words. The 3rd and 4th lines of the first stanza 
can proof:" cracked hands that ached from labor in weekdays 
weather "-- from which we know the father must have been 
working very hard to raise the family. Even in Sundays he 
got up early to make fires to warm up the house. sunday is 
not a workday and he could have slept late. But he did not. 
Futhermore, he polished the shoes for his sons. However, 
instead of saying "thank you", he spoke indifferently to 
his father. The repetition of "What did I know" implies the 
son's regret of being so ungrateful then. Perhaps now the 
speaker is a father,too, so he suddenly learned about the 
love from his father at that time. And also he came to 
realize that how hard and lonely it is for a father to carry 
the burden of a family.( Because he mentioned "lonely offices" 
and I think it may refer to the duties which his father always 
did alone.