Robert Hayden's poem "Those Winter Sundays" focuses on the story of two people, a child and the child's father. The main focus of the poem is about the father, as told by the child. The father and the child, as told about in the story, are not very close. This distance between the father and the child during childhood brings out some regret for the 'child' when he grows up and the father is no longer around. This distance between the two, and the child's regret is shown through the diction, denotation, and imagery throughout the three stanzas.
In the first stanza, the poem begins on an early Sunday morning with the father's daily, grueling routine. Hayden uses diction that turns into imagery in the second line of the poem "and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,"(line 2) because it gives readers visual of what the father looked like going through this part of his routine. The words 'blueblack cold' makes the reader think of the cold as so extreme that it changes skin color. Hayden also mentions how the father started and kept the fire lit for longer in the early mornings using his "cracked hands" (line 3). What the author meant when he uses the words "cracked hands" is the result from hard, painful work in the cold, for which the father doesn't get recognized and respected for doing. You can tell that was the case because the author mentions that "No one ever thanked him" (line 5). .
The second stanza of the poem transitions into the child's morning routine. The stanza starts off with the child talking about the cold. He describes the cold as it's been described before, so cold that you can hear it breaking and splintering. As it's described in the second stanza, the child's morning routine consisted of getting woken up after the house warms up from the fireplace his father lit up. The child also slowly wakes up and gets ready for his daily routine.