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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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Written by Shel Silverstein |

A Boy Named Sue

 Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
and he didn't leave much to Ma and me,
just this old guitar and a bottle of booze.
Now I don't blame him because he run and hid, but the meanest thing that he ever did was before he left he went and named me Sue.
Well, he must have thought it was quite a joke, and it got lots of laughs from a lot of folks, it seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red and some guy would laugh and I'd bust his head, I tell you, life ain't easy for a boy named Sue.
Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean.
My fist got hard and my wits got keen.
Roamed from town to town to hide my shame, but I made me a vow to the moon and the stars, I'd search the honky tonks and bars and kill that man that gave me that awful name.
But it was Gatlinburg in mid July and I had just hit town and my throat was dry.
I'd thought i'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon in a street of mud and at a table dealing stud sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me Sue.
Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad from a worn-out picture that my mother had and I knew the scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old and I looked at him and my blood ran cold, and I said, "My name is Sue.
How do you do? Now you're gonna die.
" Yeah, that's what I told him.
Well, I hit him right between the eyes and he went down but to my surprise he came up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth.
And we crashed through the wall and into the street kicking and a-gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.
I tell you I've fought tougher men but I really can't remember when.
He kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laughin' and then I heard him cussin', he went for his gun and I pulled mine first.
He stood there looking at me and I saw him smile.
And he said, "Son, this world is rough and if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough and I knew I wouldn't be there to help you along.
So I gave you that name and I said 'Goodbye'.
I knew you'd have to get tough or die.
And it's that name that helped to make you strong.
" Yeah, he said, "Now you have just fought one helluva fight, and I know you hate me and you've got the right to kill me now and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But you ought to thank me before I die for the gravel in your guts and the spit in your eye because I'm the nut that named you Sue.
" Yeah, what could I do? What could I do? I got all choked up and I threw down my gun, called him pa and he called me a son, and I came away with a different point of view and I think about him now and then.
Every time I tried, every time I win and if I ever have a son I think I am gonna name him Bill or George - anything but Sue.

Written by John Betjeman |


 The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.
The holly in the windy hedge And round the Manor House the yew Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge, The altar, font and arch and pew, So that the villagers can say 'The church looks nice' on Christmas Day.
Provincial Public Houses blaze, Corporation tramcars clang, On lighted tenements I gaze, Where paper decorations hang, And bunting in the red Town Hall Says 'Merry Christmas to you all'.
And London shops on Christmas Eve Are strung with silver bells and flowers As hurrying clerks the City leave To pigeon-haunted classic towers, And marbled clouds go scudding by The many-steepled London sky.
And girls in slacks remember Dad, And oafish louts remember Mum, And sleepless children's hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say 'Come!' Even to shining ones who dwell Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.
And is it true, This most tremendous tale of all, Seen in a stained-glass window's hue, A Baby in an ox's stall ? The Maker of the stars and sea Become a Child on earth for me ? And is it true ? For if it is, No loving fingers tying strings Around those tissued fripperies, The sweet and silly Christmas things, Bath salts and inexpensive scent And hideous tie so kindly meant, No love that in a family dwells, No carolling in frosty air, Nor all the steeple-shaking bells Can with this single Truth compare - That God was man in Palestine And lives today in Bread and Wine.

Written by Jack Prelutsky |

The Visitor

 it came today to visit
and moved into the house
it was smaller than an elephant
but larger than a mouse

first it slapped my sister
then it kicked my dad
then it pushed my mother
oh! that really made me mad

it went and tickled rover
and terrified the cat
it sliced apart my necktie
and rudely crushed my hat

it smeared my head with honey
and filled the tub with rocks
and when i yelled in anger
it stole my shoes and socks

that's just the way it happened
it happened all today
before it bowed politely
and softly went away

More great poems below...

Written by Judith Viorst |

Fifteen, Maybe Sixteen Things to Worry About

My pants could maybe fall down when I dive off the diving board.
My nose could maybe keep growing and never quit.
Miss Brearly could ask me to spell words like stomach and special.
(Stumick and speshul?)
I could play tag all day and always be "it.
Jay Spievack, who's fourteen feet tall, could want to fight me.
My mom and my dad--like Ted's--could want a divorce.
Miss Brearly could ask me a question about Afghanistan.
(Who's Afghanistan?)
Somebody maybe could make me ride a horse.
My mother could maybe decide that I needed more liver.
My dad could decide that I needed less TV.
Miss Brearly could say that I have to write script and stop printing.
(I'm better at printing.
Chris could decide to stop being friends with me.

The world could maybe come to an end on next Tuesday.
The ceiling could maybe come crashing on my head.
I maybe could run out of things for me to worry about.
And then I'd have to do my homework instead.

Written by Stephen Dunn |

With No Experience In Such Matters

 To hold a damaged sparrow
under water until you feel it die
is to know a small something
about the mind; how, for example,
it blames the cat for the original crime,
how it wants praise for its better side.
And yet it's as human as pulling the plug on your Dad whose world has turned to feces and fog, human as-- Well, let's admit, it's a mild thing as human things go.
But I felt the one good wing flutter in my palm-- the smallest protest, if that's what it was, I ever felt or heard.
Reminded me of how my eyelid has twitched, the need to account for it.
Hard to believe no one notices.

Written 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.

Written by Charles Webb |


  "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.

Written by Shel Silverstein |


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

Written by Raymond Carver |


 On the Columbia River near Vantage, 
Washington, we fished for whitefish 
in the winter months; my dad, Swede- 
Lindgren-and me.
They used belly-reels, pencil-length sinkers, red, yellow, or brown flies baited with maggots.
They wanted distance and went clear out there to the edge of the riffle.
I fished near shore with a quill bobber and a cane pole.
My dad kept his maggots alive and warm under his lower lip.
Lindgren didn't drink.
I liked him better than my dad for a time.
He lets me steer his car, teased me about my name "Junior," and said one day I'd grow into a fine man, remember all this, and fish with my own son.
But my dad was right.
I mean he kept silent and looked into the river, worked his tongue, like a thought, behind the bait.

Written 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.

Written by Eugene Field |

To a Usurper

 Aha! a traitor in the camp,
A rebel strangely bold,--
A lisping, laughing, toddling scamp,
Not more than four years old!

To think that I, who've ruled alone
So proudly in the past,
Should be ejected from my throne
By my own son at last!

He trots his treason to and fro,
As only babies can,
And says he'll be his mamma's beau
When he's a "gweat, big man"!

You stingy boy! you've always had
A share in mamma's heart;
Would you begrudge your poor old dad
The tiniest little part?

That mamma, I regret to see,
Inclines to take your part,--
As if a dual monarchy
Should rule her gentle heart!

But when the years of youth have sped,
The bearded man, I trow,
Will quite forget he ever said
He'd be his mamma's beau.
Renounce your treason, little son, Leave mamma's heart to me; For there will come another one To claim your loyalty.
And when that other comes to you, God grant her love may shine Through all your life, as fair and true As mamma's does through mine! 1885.

Written by William Butler Yeats |

Colonel Martin


The Colonel went out sailing,
He spoke with Turk and Jew,
With Christian and with Infidel,
For all tongues he knew.
'O what's a wifeless man?' said he, And he came sailing home.
He rose the latch and went upstairs And found an empty room.
The Colonel went out sailing.
II 'I kept her much in the country And she was much alone, And though she may be there,' he said, 'She may be in the town.
She may be all alone there, For who can say?' he said.
'I think that I shall find her In a young man's bed.
' The Colonel went out sailing.
III The Colonel met a pedlar, Agreed their clothes to swop, And bought the grandest jewelry In a Galway shop, Instead of thread and needle put jewelry in the pack, Bound a thong about his hand, Hitched it on his back.
The Colonel wcnt out sailing.
IV The Colonel knocked on the rich man's door, 'I am sorry,' said the maid, 'My mistress cannot see these things, But she is still abed, And never have I looked upon Jewelry so grand.
' 'Take all to your mistress,' And he laid them on her hand.
The Colonel went out sailing.
V And he went in and she went on And both climbed up the stair, And O he was a clever man, For he his slippers wore.
And when they came to the top stair He ran on ahead, His wife he found and the rich man In the comfort of a bed.
The Colonel went out sailing.
VI The Judge at the Assize Court, When he heard that story told, Awarded him for damages Three kegs of gold.
The Colonel said to Tom his man, 'Harness an ass and cart, Carry the gold about the town, Throw it in every patt.
' The Colonel went out sailing.
VII And there at all street-corners A man with a pistol stood, And the rich man had paid them well To shoot the Colonel dead; But they threw down their pistols And all men heard them swear That they could never shoot a man Did all that for the poor.
The Colonel went out sailing.
VIII 'And did you keep no gold, Tom? You had three kegs,' said he.
'I never thought of that, Sir.
' 'Then want before you die.
' And want he did; for my own grand-dad Saw the story's end, And Tom make out a living From the seaweed on the strand.
The Colonel went out sailing.

Written 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.

Written by Sophie Hannah |

Your Dad Did What?

 Where they have been, if they have been away,
or what they've done at home, if they have not -
you make them write about the holiday.
One writes My Dad did.
What? Your Dad did what? That's not a sentence.
Never mind the bell.
We stay behind until the work is done.
You count their words (you who can count and spell); all the assignments are complete bar one and though this boy seems bright, that one is his.
He says he's finished, doesn't want to add anything, hands it in just as it is.
No change.
My Dad did.
What? What did his Dad? You find the 'E' you gave him as you sort through reams of what this girl did, what that lad did, and read the line again, just one 'e' short: This holiday was horrible.
My Dad did.

Written 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.