Tuesday (Mark Rothko) Musings

I had a very interesting conversation with a student today. I’m still processing it, but when I have some coherent thoughts, I’ll be sure to share them.

I did not post a poem yesterday because of AWP, so here’s this weeks tidbit:

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack 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?

Robert Hayden

Incidentally, this poem was playing in the elevator at AWP. I must have heard it a half dozen times.


I love Mark Rothko. I have his calendar hanging on the wall in my office. This is February:

One thought on “Tuesday (Mark Rothko) Musings

  1. This is one of the tightest and most ‘meaningful’ poems i have ever enjoyed. But then, of course, it’s Hayden. I wonder what it’s like to hear this as elevator poetry…

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