Last week I posted one of my favorite poems of all time, This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams. I can’t think of that poem without thinking of Those Winter Sundays and so I wanted to share this, probably my second favorite (before we get into the category of poems I just like) a classic by Robert Hayden.
Didn’t know I was such a renaissance woman, huh? It’s true, I like poetry, I bake a mean pizzelle, I once had a nice garden of herbs and tomato plants (ok this was YEARS ago but I haven’t had a backyard since), I have a life outside dedicating my life to others through what my good friend Alexa calls my “fierce commitment to philanthropy.” And truthfully, I need a little reminder about all those other parts of me since sometimes I seem to be falling down a path of just giving and giving and giving of myself and wondering why I feel raw at the end of a day, week, campaign, experience. To be the best to you – the world – I have to be the best to me too. So for now, and for a few weeks to come, I’ll be posting my favorite poems (on Wednesdays) and reminding myself of some of those “other parts of me” that can’t get lost as I expand and explore the Humanitarian me.
In that giving to others, I am strongly reminded of the poem below, I hope you enjoy it and please take a moment to really feel what the poet is saying, it’s palpable to me now, a good 13 years after I first read it in high school English class.
Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueback 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