“Those speaker pities himself because the old

“Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden


The theme in this poem is love and regrets. The issue of love has been explained in the actions of the father during the winter seasons. The dad could warm the house for his family including the son. This has been demonstrated on the 7th line which reads “when the rooms were warm, he’d call”. The son on the other hand demonstrates regrets in the last line. He was naive and could not notice the father’s love and sacrifice at first.


The tone is sad at the end. The speaker realizes his mistakes at the end when it is too late. All he used to do is to blame the father who used to work so hard for him. He never had a chance to thank the father for the sacrifices he made.

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Imagery and Symbolism

Sundays in the poem shows church day. This shows how religious the father was. He wanted his son to grow with the best values. The church is the only place that good morals were taught a part form spiritual matters.


The poem is about a boy who is remembering his past life experiences with the father. He has come to a reasoning point and he regrets ever blaming his father. He does not want to blame the father anymore because he has discovered all the accusations he made against his father were wrong. He now knows that the father was caring and loved him.


The poem has mixed feelings. The poem shows the negative and cold thoughts of the son against the warm and positive feelings of the father.

Point of View

The speaker shows how naive he was at first about the care of his father. He regrets the unthankful attitude he demonstrated to his father. He late discovered that he could have appreciated the father instead.

“My son, my executioner” by Donald Hall (1928-)


This poem shows the theme of life and death. A new life has been created and it is thrilling to see the bouncy little boy. But, the speaker pities himself because the old self has died. The old life cannot be renewed since they have entered a new chapter in life. They are going to have responsibilities as opposed to the free nature they had before.


The tone is both happy and sad. Happy tone has been shown by the life that has been caused through the transfer of genes from the father and the mother to the son. The father holds the son to be warm, this shows delight and love. At the same time, the father is sad because he is growing old and will soon die. He no longer celebrates the old free days which have been killed by the son symbolically.

Symbolism and Imagery

The son here refers to both life and death. Life has been caused through gene transfer the son. On the other hand, death means bidding bye to the old days and life of the father. Imagery is seen in the line 7 that says “Cries and hunger document.” This shows the creation of a series of responsibilities for the parents which has caused the death of the old free and good life.


Several metaphors have been used. The son is referred to as death in the first line that says “My son, my executioner”.

Point of View

The speaker’s point of view is that children are a source of inspiration to life and at the same time and end to life. They reflect a seed that is left after the mother plant is dead. Therefore, they show continuity in life. On the other hand, they bring the old life to a halt since they come with responsibilities. To him anything good has a dark side.

“Metaphors” by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)


The theme in this poem is motherhood. The major aspect being elaborated is the issue of pregnancy. This is also demonstrated by the word “nine” that could probably mean the months a baby takes in the mother’s womb. That is the gestation period. The poem also signifies regret. This is shown by the fact that the speaker is complaining about the burden that she will experience as she “houses” the baby.


The Tone of the poem depicts ecstasy and regret. The mother is happy with the pregnancy, but she cannot imagine the issue of having the baby within her for nine months. She does not like her condition and cannot escape it too. She only requires a heart to endure through the agony of pregnancy.


Tendrils are forms of flowers. The speaker uses the two tendrils to depict the issue of reproduction. This is the fusion of two objects to form an offspring. Tendrils are a form of fertilization in plants or flowers. The nine lines also signify the gestation period of a human being.

Metaphor and Imagery

The poem is full of metaphors. The second line signifies shelter. It shows how the speaker has been transformed to a shelter for an upcoming being. Line five through to nine refers to her increase in size which she does not like. The speaker seems to have been imprisoned by the pregnancy because she does not appreciate her status.

Point of view

The speaker’s point of view shows the burden that women experience during the process of pregnancy. She has not taken the experience positively and has a lot of complains about the changes that come with it. The poem signifies the negative effects that women experience during pregnancy. Though it is good to bear a child, the initial processes are not easy.

“A boy named Sue” by singer Jonny Cash


The theme in this poem is revenge. The speaker is disappointed by the fact that his father gave him a feminine name. He is ashamed of the name and has had many series of ridicule from friends and from people who happen to know his name. He decides to pursue the father.

His main aim is to revenge on the father. He has lived with shame and he has experienced a tough approach to life. The poem also depicts regrets as a theme. The young boy regrets having been given a girl’s name and he swore that his son will not have such a name.


The tone in the poem is angry. The speaker is angry with the father because the dad gave him a feminine name. The anger had been caused by incites he got from time to time as he grew up. He was forced to move from one point to another to hide from incitement and shame. The anger of the boy has also been demonstrated during his meeting with the dad. After he had found the father, they bumped into a fight. But, this lasted for a short while because he reconciled with the father afterwards


The use of gun shows how cruel the society and surrounding was. Normally citizens of any society do not own guns, but in the poem both the dad and the son posses guns. It could also explain why the father wanted his son to grow tough. Maybe this could help him in self-defense.

Point of view

The speaker sees life as not welcoming at all. To him, life is a matter of struggling your way out especially to those who feel alienated. The alienation could be due to unfortunate decisions made by our own loved ones. To him the life he has lived has taught him a lesson.

Comparison of the poems

The major theme in the poems is the theme of regret. For example in the poem “My son my Executioner”, the son is regretting to have not noticed the struggles that his father made to him. This is different from the poem “A boy named Sue”. In this poem, the son is sincerely regretting his father’s choice of name.

The father is an absentee parent and left him when he was young. His reason for naming him is that he wanted the son to grow up and be tough. The name does not impress the son at all and the son finally chooses to revenge on the father.

Relevance of the Poems

All the poems are relating to child bearing. This has been demonstrated from conception as in the poem “Metaphors”. The poems have highlighted the experiences of child bearing in both the father and the mother perspectives.

The mother here only demonstrates the means of bringing the baby to the world. The authors have conveyed different challenges that affect both parents and the children in different settings for both caring and uncaring fathers. The poems “Metaphors” and “My son my executioner” demonstrates transitions in life.