How do imagery, metaphors, and similes contribute to the meaning of "Those Winter Sundays"? How do they relate to the emotions or ideas communicated by the poem?

Imagery, metaphors, and similes contribute to the meaning of "Those Winter Sundays" by making the emotions of the poem palpable to the reader. Robert Hayden's use of these devices enhances the poem's emotional message that love does not always look the way we might expect. Even if it is cold, "austere," or "lonely," like the love of the speaker's father, it still be real love.

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Tactile images are combined with visual or auditory images in order to represent the extreme temperatures and mimic the "coldness" with which the speaker, when he was a child, treated his father. The cold isn't just cold; it's "blueblack cold." This combination of information that appeals to two senses in one image is called synesthesia . Consider the color skin becomes when it is frostbitten (or even bruised): black and blue. These are colors associated with injury and pain. Later in the poem, the "cold [is] splintering, breaking," an image that combines the tactile cold with the auditory image of something splintering or cracking. This is painful-sounding as well. Both of these images that capitalize on synesthesia double up on the sensory experience. They emphasize how painful it must have been for the father to get up so very early, even on his one day off from the work that makes his "cracked hands" ache. This helps us to understand that he would only do such a thing out of love for...

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