Those Winter Sundays is a wonderful poem by Robert Hayden, one of the most influential Harlem Renaissance poets. Next to Langston Hughes, Hayden may be the best-known poet of the Harlem Renaissance, even though his collection of work is not as extensive.
In the poem, Hayden retrospects to his childhood, and recalls the small acts of kindness that his father performed. There is a bittersweet essence about the poem, as the author recalls how he was never grateful toward his father for the generosity displayed.
The closing lines of this poem are most frequently discussed in literature classes: "What did I know, what did I know of love's austere and lonely offices?"
The author here expresses the realization that his father was instrumental in his success, and that his father labored in a solitary and quiet way to ensure that success.