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South University Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden Discussion



  • Choose a poem from the assigned readings listed below, and identify some of the key imagery or other kinds of poetic language used in the poem, which you believe are vital to understanding it. Here are some possible approaches:
    • Provide a detailed discussion of how the images function in the poem.
    • Do the images work together to form a coherent pattern?
    • What ideas or feelings are conveyed by the images or figurative language?
    • How do the images contribute to the overall meaning of the poem?
  • Our course eBook (Portable Literature) should be your only source. Do not use outside sources.
  • Title your discussion response with the poem’s title. This will help other students see which poems have been discussed. Once a poem has been discussed twice, please do not choose it for analysis.

Read the following poems and choose one to discuss:


Remember to provide evidence for your claims in the form of quoted passages from the poem. Quotations, paraphrases, and summaries should be cited according to APA rules of style, including in-text and reference citations. Quoted material should not exceed 25% of the document.

Example Response

Students often ask to see a model of what is expected, so here is an example post:

“The Oven Bird” is a sonnet by Robert Frost, and the poem focuses on a bird that sings a sad song about death and loss. Some of the key images include variations on singing, the seasons, and foliage, such as leaves and flowers. The following lines illustrate the use of these images: “He says that leaves are old and that for flowers/Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten/He says the early petal-fall is past/When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers” (Frost, 1916, Lines 4-7). The images in the poem work together to tell a story about the oven bird, which has a loud, discordant song that “makes the solid tree trunks sound again” (Frost, 1916, Line 3). The bird sings about having lost its first set of young to predators, and now the bird must learn to go on living with great loss. The sad yet brave feeling of the poem is summed up in the final couplet: “The question that he frames in all but words/Is what to make of a diminished thing” (Frost, 1916, Lines 13-14).

Frost, R. (1916). The oven bird. Cengage: Gale College Collection. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?p=GCCO&u=gale_9827877&id=GALE|BRGOHW412836445&v=2.1&it=r&sPage=13883791&sid=mindtap-embedView&asid=94ec534a

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