Your new favorite Father’s Day poem (a week early)

Since Father’s Day is coming up, I thought I’d share this lovely poem by Robert Hayden (I know I say all the poems are lovely, but I really do think they are): Those Winter Sundays.

Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden

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?

This week I wanted to share a recording of “Those Winter Sundays” read by the poet, Gregory Orr from his interview with Krista Tippet on the On Being podcast. He has a wonderful quality to his voice, and listening to him read is a delight.

Since I mentioned him (and since we may not all have warm fuzzy feelings about Father’s Day), I thought I’d also share a short poem by Gregory Orr because it, too, is lovely.

To be alive
by Gregory Orr

To be alive: not just the carcass
But the spark.
That’s crudely put, but …
If we’re not supposed to dance,
Why all this music?

Here’s a companion painting by his wife Trisha Orr.


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