Connotation and Chapter 5 Predictions and Themes

English I Honors students looked at a lovely poem by Robert Hayden, “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?

We looked at a different version of the poem that removes some of the connotations that make the poem so pregnant with meaning. We’ll be finishing up tomorrow.

English 8 students finished up chapter 5 from Nightjohn, which is a moving and somewhat disturbing chapter. We practiced again effective readers’ skills and looked for the various motifs we have discovered, which will help us determine the theme of the work.


  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • work on final project (short stories);
    • determine the parts of speech for all words in the first stanza of today’s poem;
    • work on extra credit (as needed).