The poem is about the relationship between a father and his son, who has the revelation of emotions through powerful imagery that is notable to the contrast of harshness of the cold expression of pensive and regrettable tone. The warm images are in respect to the appreciation of his father. The beginning of the poem has been made to reflect the image of the cold and uncomfortable tone of regret in regard to lack of respecting his father. The supplement of cold with the blue-black word shows dissonance that is carried with the connotation of negativity to strengthen the undesirable conditions brought by cold imagery. The son at the time did not recognize his fathers love toward him, as he never returned this feeling, and thus love and guilt play the central part in this poem.
The tone of the poem is denoted in the first stanza by the notion of the early morning that is added to the silent cold of the winter Sundays. Sunday has been incorporated in the poem for the purpose of initiating the perspective of religion, as it is known to be the holy day of leisure. The speaker’s father waking up on Sunday depicts devotion to tend his family, and his image of waking up in the morning is being strengthened by the blueblack word, which also depicts the harshness of cold to be more viable to the reader. This is made apparent by the dedication of the father to wake every morning, which has endured to suffer pain by the use of cracked hands and the aches. The first stanza ends with regrets, as the struggles of the speaker’s father and suffering have never been acknowledged (Amidi).
The speaker’s experiences are portrayed in the second stanza, by the phrase ‘cold splintering, breaking’, which has kept the consistent of the aspect of warmth that is breaking through, created by the fire. This has the assertion of progression from dark and cold to luminous and warm environment. The father would call the son when the room is filled with warmth; this establishes the connections to his father that equates to the warmth and hard work. This can be attributed to the parallel between finding himself in the same situation presently. Personification has been put through the phrase ‘tearing the anger’ that could denote a dysfunctional family interaction at present (Amidi).
The final stanza has a regretful tone which has brought forth the image of emotional distance. The poem does not imply whether the father was the ultimate source of the chronic anger as the speaker has indicated, but a guardian who tended his children despite everything. The tone of admiration has been conferred to the father as the speaker refers him as the man who had driven off the cold. A strong and austere image is depicted by the father polishing the shoes of his son that displays the connotation of acting a servant like character. A rhetorical question has been imposed by the speaker after he reflects the relationship with his father with a sad and shameful reputation that evokes that the speaker was ignorant to his father.
Although there was lack of communication between the two, love was present through the speaker’s father effort and quiet care (Amidi). The stanza has ended with the personification of love austere and lonely office, which is the connotation of unadorned to the negatives that his father faced the fierce cold every morning to foster the comfort of his family. The supplement of the word lonely in the poem connotes to the sadness of the used tone and the seclusion the father endured every day. This poem has revealed that love can be displayed in many ways, but as a child it is expected that love should be expressed in an obvious way. The speaker acknowledges the acts of his father after realizing how love can be expressed in indirectly (Amidi).