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Best Famous Dad Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Dad poems. This is a select list of the best famous Dad poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Dad poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of dad poems.

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See also: Best Member Poems

by Marilyn L Taylor | |

Again

 The children are back, the children are back—
They’ve come to take refuge, exhale and unpack;
The marriage has faltered, the job has gone bad,
Come open the door for them, Mother and Dad.
The city apartment is leaky and cold, The landlord lascivious, greedy and old— The mattress is lumpy, the oven’s encrusted, The freezer, the fan, and the toilet have rusted.
The company caved, the boss went broke, The job and the love-affair, all up in smoke.
The anguish of loneliness comes as a shock— O heart in the doldrums, O heart in hock.
And so they return with their piles of possessions, Their terrified cats and their mournful expressions Reclaiming the bedrooms they had in their teens, Clean towels, warm comforter, glass figurines.
Downstairs in the kitchen the father and mother Don’t say a word, but they look at each other As down the hill comes Jill, comes Jack.
The children are back.
The children are back.


by Philip Larkin | |

This Be The Verse

 They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who half the time were soppy-stern And half at one another's throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can, And don't have any kids yourself.


by Robert William Service | |

Benjamin Franklin

 Franklin fathered bastards fourteen,
 (So I read in the New Yorker);
If it's true, in terms of courtin'
 Benny must have been a corker.
To be prudent I've aspired, And my passions I have mastered; So that I have never sired A single bastard.
One of course can never know; But I think that if I had It would give me quite a glow When a kiddie called me 'Dad.
' Watching toddlers at their play, Parentage I'd gladly claim, But their mothers smiling say: 'You're not to blame.
' Ben founded the Satevepost, And for that I much respect him; But fourteen is quite a host Paternally to elect him.
'Fatherhood is not a crime,' Deemed fat Ben, 'there could be others .
.
.
Darlings, I had not the time To wed your mothers.
'


More great poems below...

by Robert William Service | |

The Record

 Fearing that she might go one day
With some fine fellow of her choice,
I called her from her childish play,
And made a record of her voice.
And now that she is truly gone, I hear it sweet and crystal clear From out my wheezy gramophone: "I love you, Daddy dear.
" Indeed it's true she went away, But Oh she went all, all alone; Into the dark she went for aye, Poor little mite! ere girlhood grown.
Ah that I could with her have gone! But this is all I have to show - A ghost voice on a gramophone: "Dear Dad, I love you so.
" The saddest part of loss 'tis said, Is that time tempers our regret; But that is treason to the dead - I'll not forget, I'll not forget.
Sole souvenir of golden years, 'Twas best to break this disc in two, And spare myself a spate of tears .
.
.
But this I cannot do.
So I will play it every day, And it will seem that she is near, And once again I'll hear her say: I love you so, Oh Daddy dear.
" And then her kiss - a stab of woe.
The record ends .
.
.
I breathe a plea: "Oh God, speed me to where I know Wee lass, you wait for me.
"


by Robert William Service | |

Young Fellow My Lad

 "Where are you going, Young Fellow My Lad,
 On this glittering morn of May?"
"I'm going to join the Colours, Dad;
 They're looking for men, they say.
" "But you're only a boy, Young Fellow My Lad; You aren't obliged to go.
" "I'm seventeen and a quarter, Dad, And ever so strong, you know.
" * * * * "So you're off to France, Young Fellow My Lad, And you're looking so fit and bright.
" "I'm terribly sorry to leave you, Dad, But I feel that I'm doing right.
" "God bless you and keep you, Young Fellow My Lad, You're all of my life, you know.
" "Don't worry.
I'll soon be back, dear Dad, And I'm awfully proud to go.
" * * * * "Why don't you write, Young Fellow My Lad? I watch for the post each day; And I miss you so, and I'm awfully sad, And it's months since you went away.
And I've had the fire in the parlour lit, And I'm keeping it burning bright Till my boy comes home; and here I sit Into the quiet night.
* * * * "What is the matter, Young Fellow My Lad? No letter again to-day.
Why did the postman look so sad, And sigh as he turned away? I hear them tell that we've gained new ground, But a terrible price we've paid: God grant, my boy, that you're safe and sound; But oh I'm afraid, afraid.
" * * * * "They've told me the truth, Young Fellow My Lad: You'll never come back again: (Oh God! the dreams and the dreams I've had, and the hopes I've nursed in vain!) For you passed in the night, Young Fellow My Lad, And you proved in the cruel test Of the screaming shell and the battle hell That my boy was one of the best.
"So you'll live, you'll live, Young Fellow My Lad, In the gleam of the evening star, In the wood-note wild and the laugh of the child, In all sweet things that are.
And you'll never die, my wonderful boy, While life is noble and true; For all our beauty and hope and joy We will owe to our lads like you.
"


by Robert William Service | |

The God Of Common-Sense

 My Daddy used to wallop me for every small offense:
"Its takes a hair-brush back," said he, "to teach kids common-sense.
" And still to-day I scarce can look a hair-brush in the face.
Without I want in sympathy to pat a tender place.
For Dad declared with unction: "Spare the brush and spoil the brat.
" The dear old man! What e'er his faults he never did do that; And though a score of years have gone since he departed hence, I still revere his deity, The God of Common-sense.
How often I have played the ass (Man's universal fate), Yet always I have saved myself before it was too late; How often tangled with a dame - you know how these things are, Yet always had the gumption not to carry on too far; Remembering that fancy skirts, however high they go, Are not to be stacked up against a bunch of hard-earned dough; And sentiment has little weight compared with pounds and pence, According to the gospel of the God of Common-sense.
Oh blessing on that old hair-brush my Daddy used to whack With such benign precision on the basement of my back.
Oh blessings on his wisdom, saying: "Son, don't play the fool, Let prudence be your counselor and reason be your rule.
Don't get romantic notions, always act with judgment calm, Poetical emotions ain't in practice worth a damn/ let solid comfort be your goal, self-interest your guide.
.
.
.
" Then just as if to emphasize, whack! whack! the brush he plied.
And so I often wonder if my luck is Providence, or just my humble tribute to the God of Common-sense.


by Robert William Service | |

The Alcázar

 The General now lives in town;
He's eighty odd, they say;
You'll see him strolling up and down
The Prada any day.
He goes to every football game, The bull-ring knows his voice, And when the people cheer his name Moscardo must rejoice.
Yet does he, in the gaiety Of opera and ball, A dingy little cellar see, A picture on a wall? A portrait of a laughing boy Of sixteen singing years .
.
.
Oh does his heart dilate with joy, Or dim his eyes with tears? And can he hear a wistful lad Speak on the telephone? "Hello! How is it with you, Dad? That's right - I'm all alone.
They say they'll shoot me at the dawn If you do not give in .
.
.
But never mind, Dad - carry on: You know we've got to win.
" And so they shot him at the dawn.
No bandage irked his eyes, A lonely lad, so wistful wan, He made his sacrifice.
he saw above the Citadel His flag of glory fly, And crying: "long live Spain!" he fell And died as heroes die.


by Robert William Service | |

Poor Kid

 Mumsie and Dad are raven dark
 And I am lily blonde.
''Tis strange,' I once heard nurse remark, 'You do not correspond.
' And yet they claim me as their own, Born of their flesh and bone.
To doubt their parenthood I dread, But now to girlhood grown, The thought is haunting in my head That I am not their own: If so, my radiant bloom of youth Would wither in the truth.
'Twould give me anguish deep to know A fondling babe was I; And that a maid in wedless woe Left me to live or die: I'd rather Mother lied and lied To save my pride.
I love them both and they love me; I am their all, they say.
Yet though the sweetest home have we, To know I'm theirs I pray.
If not, please dear ones, never tell .
.
.
The truth would be of hell.


by Robert William Service | |

The Ape And God

 Son put a poser up to me
That made me scratch my head:
"God made the whole wide world," quoth he;
"That's right, my boy," I said.
Said son: "He mad the mountains soar, And all the plains lie flat; But Dad, what did he do before He did all that? Said I: "Creation was his biz; He set the stars to shine; The sun and moon and all that is Were His unique design.
The Cosmos is his concrete thought, The Universe his chore.
.
.
" Said Son: "I understand, but what Did He before?" I gave it up; I could not cope With his enquiring prod, And must admit I've little hope Of understanding God.
Indeed I find more to my mind The monkey in the tree In whose crude form Nature defined Our human destiny.
Thought I: "Why search for Deity In visionary shape? 'Twould better be if we could see The angel in the ape.
Let mystic seek a God above: Far wiser he who delves, To find in kindliness and love God in ourselves.
"


by Robert William Service | |

Causation

 Said darling daughter unto me:
"oh Dad, how funny it would be
If you had gone to Mexico
A score or so of years ago.
Had not some whimsey changed your plan I might have been a Mexican.
With lissome form and raven hair, Instead of being fat and fair.
"Or if you'd sailed the Southern Seas And mated with a Japanese I might have been a squatty girl With never golden locks to curl, Who flirted with a painted fan, And tinkled on a samisan, And maybe slept upon a mat - I'm very glad I don't do that.
"When I consider the romance Of all your youth of change and chance I might, I fancy, just as well Have bloomed a bold Tahitian belle, Or have been born .
.
.
but there - ah no! I draw the line - and Esquimeaux.
It scares me stiff to think of what I might have been - thank God! I'm not.
" Said I: "my dear, don't be absurd, Since everything that has occurred, Through seeming fickle in your eyes, Could not a jot be otherwise.
For in this casual cosmic biz The world can be but what it is; And nobody can dare deny Part of this world is you and I.
Or call it fate or destiny No other issue could there be.
Though half the world I've wandered through Cause and effect have linked us two.
Aye, all the aeons of the past Conspired to bring us here at last, And all I ever chanced to do Inevitably led to you.
To you, to make you what you are, A maiden in a Morris car, IN Harris tweeds, an airedale too, But Anglo-Saxon through and through.
And all the good and ill I've done In every land beneath the sun Magnificently led to this - A country cottage and - your kiss.
"


by Robert William Service | |

My Ancestors

 A barefoot boy I went to school
 To save a cobbler's fee,
For though the porridge pot was full
 A frugal folk were we;
We baked our bannocks, spun our wool,
 And counted each bawbee.
We reft our living from the soil, And I was shieling bred; My father's hands were warped with toil, And crooked with grace he said.
My mother made the kettle boil As spinning wheel she fed.
My granny smoked a pipe of clay, And yammered of her youth; The hairs upon her chin were grey, She had a single tooth; Her mutch was grimed, I grieve to say, For I would speak the truth.
You of your ancestry may boast,-- Well, here I brag of mine; For if there is a heaven host I hope they'll be in line: My dad with collie at his heel In plaid of tartan stripe; My mammie with her spinning wheel, My granny with her pipe.


by Robert William Service | |

Belated Conscience

 To buy for school a copy-book
 I asked my Dad for two-pence;
He gave it with a gentle look,
 Although he had but few pence.
'Twas then I proved myself a crook And came a moral cropper, I bought a penny copy-book And blued the other copper.
I spent it on a sausage roll Gulped down with guilt suggestion, To the damnation of my soul And awful indigestion.
Poor Dad! His job was hard to hold; His mouths to feed were many; Were he alive a millionfold I'd pay him for his penny.
Now nigh the grave I think with grief, Though other sins are many, I am a liar and a thief 'Cause once I stole a penny: Yet be he pious as a friar It is my firm believing, That every man has been a liar And most of us done thieving.


by Robert William Service | |

Tom

 That Tom was poor was sure a pity,
 Such guts for learning had the lad;
He took to Greek like babe to titty,
 And he was mathematic mad.
I loved to prime him up with knowledge, A brighter lad I never knew; I dreamed that he would go to college And there be honoured too.
But no! His Dad said, "Son, I need you To keep the kettle on the boil; No longer can I clothe and feed you, Buy study books and midnight oil.
I carry on as best I'm able, A humble tailor, as you know; And you must squat cross-legged a table And learn to snip and sew.
" And that is what poor Tom is doing.
He bravely makes the best of it; But as he "fits" you he is knowing That he himself is a misfit; And thinks as he fulfils his calling, With patient heart yet deep distaste, Like clippings from his shears down-falling, --He, too, is Waste.


by Robert William Service | |

Jim

 Never knew Jim, did you? Our boy Jim?
Bless you, there was the likely lad;
Supple and straight and long of limb,
Clean as a whistle, and just as glad.
Always laughing, wasn't he, dad? Joy, pure joy to the heart of him, And, oh, but the soothering ways he had, Jim, our Jim! But I see him best as a tiny tot, A bonny babe, though it's me that speaks; Laughing there in his little cot, With his sunny hair and his apple cheeks.
And my! but the blue, blue eyes he'd got, And just where his wee mouth dimpled dim Such a fairy mark like a beauty spot -- That was Jim.
Oh, the war, the war! How my eyes were wet! But he says: "Don't be sorrowing, mother dear; You never knew me to fail you yet, And I'll be back in a year, a year.
" 'Twas at Mons he fell, in the first attack; For so they said, and their eyes were dim; But I laughed in their faces: "He'll come back, Will my Jim.
" Now, we'd been wedded for twenty year, And Jim was the only one we'd had; So when I whispered in father's ear, He wouldn't believe me -- would you, dad? There! I must hurry .
.
.
hear him cry? My new little baby.
.
.
.
See! that's him.
What are we going to call him? Why, Jim, just Jim.
Jim! For look at him laughing there In the same old way in his tiny cot, With his rosy cheeks and his sunny hair, And look, just look .
.
.
his beauty spot In the selfsame place.
.
.
.
Oh, I can't explain, And of course you think it's a mother's whim, But I know, I know it's my boy again, Same wee Jim.
Just come back as he said he would; Come with his love and his heart of glee.
Oh, I cried and I cried, but the Lord was good; From the shadow of Death he set Jim free.
So I'll have him all over again, you see.
Can you wonder my mother-heart's a-brim? Oh, how happy we're going to be! Aren't we, Jim?


by Robert William Service | |

The Buyers

 Father drank himself to death,--
 Quite enjoyed it.
Urged to draw a sober breath He'd avoid it.
'Save your sympathy,' said Dad; 'Never sought it.
Hob-nail liver, gay and glad, Sure,--I bought it.
' Uncle made a heap of dough, Ponies playing.
'Easy come and easy go,' Was his saying.
Though he died in poverty Fit he thought it, Grinning with philosophy: 'Guess I bought it.
' Auntie took the way of sin, Seeking pleasure; Lovers came, her heart to win, Bringing treasure.
Sickness smote,--with lips that bled Brave she fought it; Smiling on her dying bed: 'Dears, I bought it.
' My decades of life are run, Eight precisely; Yet I've lost a lot of fun Living wisely.
Too much piety don't pay, Time has taught it; Hadn't guts to go astray; Life's a bloody bore today,-- Well, I've bought it.


by Robert William Service | |

Pavement Poet

 God's truth! these be the bitter times.
In vain I sing my sheaf of rhymes, And hold my battered hat for dimes.
And then a copper collars me, Barking: "It's begging that you be; Come on, dad; you're in custody.
" And then the Beak looks down and says: "Sheer doggerel I deem your lays: I send you down for seven days.
" So for the week I won't disturb The peace by singing at the curb.
I don't mind that, but oh it's hell To have my verse called doggerel.


by Jonathan Swift | |

Oysters

 Charming oysters I cry:
My masters, come buy,
So plump and so fresh,
So sweet is their flesh,
No Colchester oyster
Is sweeter and moister:
Your stomach they settle,
And rouse up your mettle:
They'll make you a dad
Of a lass or a lad;
And madam your wife
They'll please to the life;
Be she barren, be she old,
Be she slut, or be she scold,
Eat my oysters, and lie near her,
She'll be fruitful, never fear her.


by Natasha Trethewey | |

Flounder

 Here, she said, put this on your head.
She handed me a hat.
you 'bout as white as your dad, and you gone stay like that.
Aunt Sugar rolled her nylons down around each bony ankle, and I rolled down my white knee socks letting my thin legs dangle, circling them just above water and silver backs of minnows flitting here then there between the sun spots and the shadows.
This is how you hold the pole to cast the line out straight.
Now put that worm on your hook, throw it out and wait.
She sat spitting tobacco juice into a coffee cup.
Hunkered down when she felt the bite, jerked the pole straight up reeling and tugging hard at the fish that wriggled and tried to fight back.
A flounder, she said, and you can tell 'cause one of its sides is black.
The other is white, she said.
It landed with a thump.
I stood there watching that fish flip-flop, switch sides with every jump.


by Charles Webb | |

Enthusiasm

  "Don't overdo it," Dad yelled, watching me
Play shortstop, collect stamps and shells,
Roll on the grass laughing until I peed my pants.
"Screw him," I said, and grabbed every cowry I could find, hogged all the books I could From Heights Library, wore out the baseball Diamond dawn to dusk, and—parents in Duluth— Gorged on bountiful Candy dusk to dawn.
Not until a Committee wrote of my poems, "Enthusiasm should be tempered," Did I change my song.
I write now The way I live: calm and sober, steering Toward the Golden Mean.
The Committee Was right to withhold funds.
I'd have bought A hundred box turtles with lemon-speckled shells, Flyfished for rainbows six months straight, Flown to the Great Barrier Reef and dived Non-stop among pink coral and marble cones, Living on chocolate malts, peaches, and barbecue.
I'd have turned into a ski bum, married Ten women in ten states, written nothing Poetry would glance at twice, instead Of rising at 5:00 as I do now, writing 'Til noon about matters serious and deep, Teaching 'til 6:00, eating a low-fat meal High in fiber and cruciferous vegetables, Then bed by 9:00, alarm clock set Five minutes late: my one indulgence of the day.


by Charles Webb | |

Silent Letters

  Treacherous as trap door spiders,
they ambush children's innocence.
"Why is there g h in light? It isn't fair!" Buddha declared the world illusory as the p sound in psyche.
Sartre said the same of God from France, Olympus of silent letters, n'est -ce pas? Polite conceals an e in the same way "How are you?" hides "I don't care.
" Physics asserts the desk I lean on, the brush that fluffs my hair, are only dots that punctuate a nullity complete as the g sound in gnome, the c e in Worcestershire.
Passions lurk under the saint's bed, mute as the end of love.
They glide toward us, yellow eyes gleaming, hushed as the finality of hate, malice, snake.
As easily predict the h in lichen, choral, Lichtenstein, as laws against throttling rats, making U-turns on empty streets.
Such nonsense must be memorized.
"Imagine dropkicking a spud," Dad said.
"If e breaks off your toe, it spoils your potato.
" Like compass needles pointing north, silent letters show the power of hidden things.
Voiced by our ancestors, but heard no more, they nudge our thoughts toward death, infinity, our senses' inability to see the earth as round, circling the sun in a universe implacable as "Might Makes Right," ineffable as tomorrow's second r, incomprehensible as imbroglio's g, the e that finishes inscrutable, imponderable, immense, the terrifying k in "I don't know.
"


by Charles Webb | |

Suitcase

 Its silver clasp looks like a man grasping
his hands above his head in victory;
the latches, like twin hatchbacks headed away.
There are no wheels, just four steel nipples for sliding.
A hexagonal seal announces the defunct "U.
S.
Trunk Company.
" The frame is wood— big, heavy, cheap—covered with imitation leather, its blue just slightly darker than Mom's eyes.
"It's beautiful.
Much too expensive," she told Dad, and kissed him.
The lining is pink, quilted acetate.
Three sides have pouches with elastic tops— stretched out now, like old underwear.
I watched Mom pack them with panties and brassieres when I was so little she didn't blush.
The right front corner has been punctured and crushed.
(I could have choked the baggage handler.
) The handle—blue plastic doorknocker— is fringed with wrinkled tags from United, Delta, U.
S.
Air (which crunched the hole, flying the suitcase back from Houston).
I'd gone there to see Mom in the "home," and save some boyhood relics before my sister gave them to Good Will.
"Take mine," Mom said, hearing my suitcase was full.
"I won't need luggage, the next place I go.
"


by William Topaz McGonagall | |

The Rattling Boy from Dublin

 I'm a rattling boy from Dublin town,
I courted a girl called Biddy Brown,
Her eyes they were as black as sloes,
She had black hair and an aquiline nose.
Chorus -- Whack fal de da, fal de darelido, Whack fal de da, fal de darelay, Whack fal de da, fal de darelido, Whack fal de da, fal de darelay.
One night I met her with another lad, Says I, Biddy, I've caught you, by dad, I never thought you were half so bad As to be going about with another lad.
Chorus Says I, Biddy, this will never do, For to-night you've prov'd to me untrue, So do not make a hullaballoo, For I will bid farewell to you.
Chorus Says Barney Magee, She is my lass, And the man that says no, he is an ass, So come away, and I'll give you a glass, Och, sure you can get another lass.
Chorus Says I, To the devil with your glass, You have taken from me my darling lass, And if you look angry, or offer to frown, With my darling shillelah I'll knock you down.
Chorus Says Barney Magee unto me, By the hokey I love Biddy Brown, And before I'll give her up to thee, One or both of us will go down.
Chorus So, with my darling shillelah, I gave him a whack, Which left him lying on his back, Saying, botheration to you and Biddy Brown,-- For I'm the rattling boy from Dublin town.
Chorus So a policeman chanced to come up at the time, And he asked of me the cause of the shine, Says I, he threatened to knock me down When I challenged him for walking with my Biddy Brown.
Chorus So the policeman took Barney Magee to jail, Which made him shout and bewail That ever he met with Biddy Brown, The greatest deceiver in Dublin town.
Chorus So I bade farewell to Biddy Brown, The greatest jilter in Dublin town, Because she proved untrue to me, And was going about with Barney Magee.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Father

 He never made a fortune, or a noise
In the world where men are seeking after fame; 
But he had a healthy brood of girls and boys
Who loved the very ground on which he trod.
They thought him just little short of God; Oh you should have heard the way they said his name – ‘Father.
’ There seemed to be a loving little prayer In their voices, even when they called him ‘Dad.
’ Though the man was never heard of anywhere, As a hero, yet somehow understood He was doing well his part and making good; And you knew it, by the way his children had Of saying ‘Father.
’ He gave them neither eminence nor wealth, But he gave them blood untainted with a vice, And opulence of undiluted health.
He was honest, and unpurchable and kind; He was clean in heart, and body, and in mind.
So he made them heirs to riches without price – This father.
He never preached or scolded; and the rod – Well, he used it as a turning pole in play.
But he showed the tender sympathy of God.
To his children in their troubles, and their joys.
He was always chum and comrade with his boys, And his daughters – oh, you ought to hear them say ‘Father.
’ Now I think of all achievements ‘tis the least To perpetuate the species; it is done By the insect and the serpent, and the beast.
But the man who keeps his body, and his thought, Worth bestowing on an offspring love-begot, Then the highest earthly glory he was won, When in pride a grown-up daughter or a son Says ‘That’s Father.


by Wilfred Owen | |

The Last Laugh

 'O Jesus Christ! I'm hit,' he said; and died.
Whether he vainly cursed, or prayed indeed, The Bullets chirped - 'In vain! vain! vain!' Machine-guns chuckled, 'Tut-tut! Tut-tut!' And the Big Gun guffawed.
Another sighed, - 'O Mother, Mother! Dad!' Then smiled, at nothing, childlike, being dead.
And the lofty Shrapnel-cloud Leisurely gestured, - 'Fool!' And the falling splinters tittered.
'My Love!' one moaned.
Love-languid seemed his mood, Till, slowly lowered, his whole face kissed the mud.
And the Bayonets' long teeth grinned; Rabbles of Shells hooted and groaned; And the Gas hissed.


by Shel Silverstein | |

Anteater

 "A genuine anteater,"
The pet man told me dad.
Turned out, it was an aunt eater, And now my uncle's mad!