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Best Famous Family Poems

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

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by Anna Akhmatova | |

Lots Wife

Holy Lot  was a-going behind  God's angel,
He seemed  huge and bright on a hill, huge and black.
But the heart of his wife whispered stronger and stranger: "It's not very late, you have time to look back At these rose turrets of your native Sodom, The square where you sang, and the yard where you span, The windows looking from your cozy home Where you bore children for your dear man.
" She looked -- and her eyes were instantly bound By pain -- they couldn't see any more at all: Her fleet feet grew into the stony ground, Her body turned into a pillar of salt.
Who'll mourn her as one of Lot's family members? Doesn't she seem the smallest of losses to us? But deep in my heart I will always remember One who gave her life up for one single glance.


by Philip Larkin | |

Wants

 Beyond all this, the wish to be alone:
However the sky grows dark with invitation-cards
However we follow the printed directions of sex
However the family is photographed under the flag-staff -
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone.
Beneath it all, the desire for oblivion runs: Despite the artful tensions of the calendar, The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites, The costly aversion of the eyes away from death - Beneath it all, the desire for oblivion runs.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Since Nine OClock

 Half past twelve.
Time has gone by quickly since nine o'clock when I lit the lamp and sat down here.
I've been sitting without reading, without speaking.
Completely alone in the house, whom could I talk to? Since nine o'clock when I lit the lamp the shade of my young body has come to haunt me, to remind me of shut scented rooms, of past sensual pleasure - what daring pleasure.
And it's also brought back to me streets now unrecognizable, bustling night clubs now closed, theatres and cafes no longer here.
The shade of my young body also brought back the things that make us sad: family grief, separations, the feelings of my own people, feelings of the dead so little acknowledged.
Half past twelve.
How the time has gone by.
Half past twelve.
How the years have gone by.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Envoys From Alexandria

 They had not seen, for ages, such beautiful gifts in Delphi
as these that had been sent by the two brothers,
the rival Ptolemaic kings.
After they had received them however, the priests were uneasy about the oracle.
They will need all their experience to compose it with astuteness, which of the two, which of such two will be displeased.
And they hold secret councils at night and discuss the family affairs of the Lagidae.
But see, the envoys have returned.
They are bidding farewell.
They are returning to Alexandria, they say.
And they do not ask for any oracle.
And the priests hear this with joy (of course they will keep the marvellous gifts), but they also are utterly perplexed, not understanding what this sudden indifference means.
For they are unaware that yesterday the envoys received grave news.
The oracle was given in Rome; the division took place there.


by Julie Hill Alger | |

Death in the Family

 They call it stroke.
Two we loved were stunned by that same blow of cudgel or axe to the brow.
Lost on the earth they left our circle broken.
One spent five months falling from our grasp mute, her grace, wit, beauty erased.
Her green eyes gazed at us as if asking, as if aware, as if hers.
One night she slipped away; machinery of mercy brought her back to die more slowly.
At long last she escaped.
Our collie dog fared better.
A lesser creature, she had to spend only one day drifting and reeling, her brown eyes beseeching.
Then she was tenderly lifted, laid on a table, praised, petted and set free.
-Julie Alger


by Imamu Amiri Baraka | |

Ka Ba

 A closed window looks down
on a dirty courtyard, and black people
call across or scream or walk across
defying physics in the stream of their will

Our world is full of sound
Our world is more lovely than anyone's
tho we suffer, and kill each other
and sometimes fail to walk the air

We are beautiful people
with african imaginations
full of masks and dances and swelling chants

with african eyes, and noses, and arms, 
though we sprawl in grey chains in a place
full of winters, when what we want is sun.
We have been captured, brothers.
And we labor to make our getaway, into the ancient image, into a new correspondence with ourselves and our black family.
We read magic now we need the spells, to rise up return, destroy, and create.
What will be the sacred words?


by Louisa May Alcott | |

The Rose Family - Song II

 O lesson well and wisely taught 
Stay with me to the last, 
That all my life may better be 
For the trial that is past.
O vanity, mislead no more! Sleep, like passions, long! Wake, happy heart, and dance again To the music of my song! O summer days, flit fast away, And bring the blithesome hour When we three wanderers shall meet Safe in our household flower! O dear mamma, lament no more! Smile on us as we come, Your grief has been our punishment, Your love has led us home.


by Erin Belieu | |

From On Being Fired Again

 I've known the pleasures of being
fired at least eleven times—

most notably by Larry who found my snood
unsuitable, another time by Jack,
whom I was sleeping with.
Poor attitude, tardiness, a contagious lack of team spirit; I have been unmotivated squirting perfume onto little cards, while stocking salad bars, when stripping covers from romance novels, their heroines slaving on the chain gang of obsessive love— and always the same hard candy of shame dissolving in my throat; handing in my apron, returning the cash- register key.
And yet, how fine it feels, the perversity of freedom which never signs a rent check or explains anything to one's family.
.
.


by W S Merwin | |

A Family

Would you believe me
if I told you the name of the farmers
at the end of the lake
where it grew shallow over the mossy rocks
and if you came in the morning the grass was blue
the fur of the rocks was wet the small frogs jumped
and the lake was silent behind you
except for echoes

you tied your boat carefully to a tree
before setting out across the cool pasture
watching for the bull
all the way to the barn

or if you came in the afternoon
the pasture glared and hummed the dark leaves smelled
from beside the water and the barn was drunk
by the time you got to it

to climb on the beams
to dive into the distant hay
will you believe
the names of the farmers' children


by Stanley Kunitz | |

The Long Boat

 When his boat snapped loose
from its mooring, under
the screaking of the gulls,
he tried at first to wave
to his dear ones on shore,
but in the rolling fog
they had already lost their faces.
Too tired even to choose between jumping and calling, somehow he felt absolved and free of his burdens, those mottoes stamped on his name-tag: conscience, ambition, and all that caring.
He was content to lie down with the family ghosts in the slop of his cradle, buffeted by the storm, endlessly drifting.
Peace! Peace! To be rocked by the Infinite! As if it didn't matter which way was home; as if he didn't know he loved the earth so much he wanted to stay forever.


by Sylvia Plath | |

Pollys Tree

 A dream tree, Polly's tree:
 a thicket of sticks,
 each speckled twig

ending in a thin-paned
 leaf unlike any
 other on it

or in a ghost flower
 flat as paper and
 of a color

vaporish as frost-breath,
 more finical than
 any silk fan

the Chinese ladies use
 to stir robin's egg
 air.
The silver- haired seed of the milkweed comes to roost there, frail as the halo rayed round a candle flame, a will-o'-the-wisp nimbus, or puff of cloud-stuff, tipping her queer candelabrum.
Palely lit by snuff-ruffed dandelions, white daisy wheels and a tiger faced pansy, it glows.
O it's no family tree, Polly's tree, nor a tree of heaven, though it marry quartz-flake, feather and rose.
It sprang from her pillow whole as a cobweb ribbed like a hand, a dream tree.
Polly's tree wears a valentine arc of tear-pearled bleeding hearts on its sleeve and, crowning it, one blue larkspur star.


by Sylvia Plath | |

Gigolo

 Pocket watch, I tick well.
The streets are lizardly crevices Sheer-sided, with holes where to hide.
It is best to meet in a cul-de-sac, A palace of velvet With windows of mirrors.
There one is safe, There are no family photographs, No rings through the nose, no cries.
Bright fish hooks, the smiles of women Gulp at my bulk And I, in my snazzy blacks, Mill a litter of breasts like jellyfish.
To nourish The cellos of moans I eat eggs -- Eggs and fish, the essentials, The aphrodisiac squid.
My mouth sags, The mouth of Christ When my engine reaches the end of it.
The tattle of my Gold joints, my way of turning Bitches to ripples of silver Rolls out a carpet, a hush.
And there is no end, no end of it.
I shall never grow old.
New oysters Shriek in the sea and I Glitter like Fontainebleu Gratified, All the fall of water an eye Over whose pool I tenderly Lean and see me.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

A Desolation

 Now mind is clear
as a cloudless sky.
Time then to make a home in wilderness.
What have I done but wander with my eyes in the trees? So I will build: wife, family, and seek for neighbors.
Or I perish of lonesomeness or want of food or lightning or the bear (must tame the hart and wear the bear).
And maybe make an image of my wandering, a little image—shrine by the roadside to signify to traveler that I live here in the wilderness awake and at home.


by Louise Gluck | |

Saints

 In our family, there were two saints,
my aunt and my grandmother.
But their lives were different.
My grandmother's was tranquil, even at the end.
She was like a person walking in calm water; for some reason the sea couldn't bring itself to hurt her.
When my aunt took the same path, the waves broke over her, they attacked her, which is how the Fates respond to a true spiritual nature.
My grandmother was cautious, conservative: that's why she escaped suffering.
My aunt's escaped nothing; each time the sea retreats, someone she loves is taken away.
Still she won't experience the sea as evil.
To her, it is what it is: where it touches land, it must turn to violence.


by Forrest Hamer | |

Lesson

 It was 1963 or 4, summer,
and my father was driving our family
from Ft.
Hood to North Carolina in our 56 Buick.
We'd been hearing about Klan attacks, and we knew Mississippi to be more dangerous than usual.
Dark lay hanging from the trees the way moss did, and when it moaned light against the windows that night, my father pulled off the road to sleep.
Noises that usually woke me from rest afraid of monsters kept my father awake that night, too, and I lay in the quiet noticing him listen, learning that he might not be able always to protect us from everything and the creatures besides; perhaps not even from the fury suddenly loud through my body about his trip from Texas to settle us home before he would go away to a place no place in the world he named Viet Nam.
A boy needs a father with him, I kept thinking, fixed against noise from the dark.


by Vachel Lindsay | |

The Lion

 The Lion is a kingly beast.
He likes a Hindu for a feast.
And if no Hindu he can get, The lion-family is upset.
He cuffs his wife and bites her ears Till she is nearly moved to tears.
Then some explorer finds the den And all is family peace again.


by Les Murray | |

Late Summer Fires

 The paddocks shave black
with a foam of smoke that stays,
welling out of red-black wounds.
In the white of a drought this happens.
The hardcourt game.
Logs that fume are mostly cattle, inverted, stubby.
Tree stumps are kilns.
Walloped, wiped, hand-pumped, even this day rolls over, slowly.
At dusk, a family drives sheep out through the yellow of the Aboriginal flag.


by Ogden Nash | |

The Wasp

 The wasp and all his numerous family 
I look upon as a major calamity.
He throws open his nest with prodigality, But I distrust his waspitality.


by Ogden Nash | |

Family Court

 One would be in less danger
From the wiles of a stranger
If one's own kin and kith
Were more fun to be with.


by Linda Pastan | |

Home For Thanksgiving

 The gathering family
throws shadows around us,
it is the late afternoon
Of the family.
There is still enough light to see all the way back, but at the windows that light is wasting away.
Soon we will be nothing but silhouettes: the sons' as harsh as the fathers'.
Soon the daughters will take off their aprons as trees take off their leaves for winter.
Let us eat quickly-- let us fill ourselves up.
the covers of the album are closing behind us.


by William Stafford | |

Across Kansas

 My family slept those level miles
but like a bell rung deep till dawn
I drove down an aisle of sound,
nothing real but in the bell,
past the town where I was born.
Once you cross a land like that you own your face more: what the light struck told a self; every rock denied all the rest of the world.
We stopped at Sharon Springs and ate-- My state still dark, my dream too long to tell.


by William Stafford | |

Lit Instructor

 Day after day up there beating my wings
with all the softness truth requires
I feel them shrug whenever I pause:
they class my voice among tentative things,

And they credit fact, force, battering.
I dance my way toward the family of knowing, embracing stray error as a long-lost boy and bringing him home with my fluttering.
Every quick feather asserts a just claim; it bites like a saw into white pine.
I communicate right; but explain to the dean-- well, Right has a long and intricate name.
And the saying of it is a lonely thing.


by Ezra Pound | |

Further Instructions

 Come, my songs, let us express our baser passions.
Let us express our envy for the man with a steady job and no worry about the future.
You are very idle, my songs, I fear you will come to a bad end.
You stand about the streets, You loiter at the corners and bus-stops, You do next to nothing at all.
You do not even express our inner nobilitys, You will come to a very bad end.
And I? I have gone half-cracked.
I have talked to you so much that I almost see you about me, Insolent little beasts! Shameless! Devoid of clothing! But you, newest song of the lot, You are not old enough to have done much mischief.
I will get you a green coat out of China With dragons worked upon it.
I will get you the scarlet silk trousers From the statue of the infant Christ at Santa Maria Novella; Lest they say we are lacking in taste, Or that there is no caste in this family.


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Barry Holden

 The very fall my sister Nancy Knapp
Set fire to the house
They were trying Dr.
Duval For the murder of Zora Clemens, And I sat in the court two weeks Listening to every witness.
It was clear he had got her in a family way; And to let the child be born Would not do.
Well, how about me with eight children, And one coming, and the farm Mortgaged to Thomas Rhodes? And when I got home that night, (After listening to the story of the buggy ride, And the finding of Zora in the ditch,) The first thing I saw, right there by the steps, Where the boys had hacked for angle worms, Was the hatchet! And just as I entered there was my wife, Standing before me, big with child.
She started the talk of the mortgaged farm, And I killed her.


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Mrs. Kessler

 Mr Kessler, you know, was in the army,
And he drew six dollars a month as a pension,
And stood on the corner talking politics,
Or sat at home reading Grant's Memoirs;
And I supported the family by washing,
Learning the secrets of all the people
From their curtains, counterpanes, shirts and skirts.
For things that are new grow old at length, They're replaced with better or none at all: People are prospering or falling back.
And rents and patches widen with time; No thread or needle can pace decay, And there are stains that baffle soap, And there are colors that run in spite of you, Blamed though you are for spoiling a dress.
Handkerchieds, napery, have their secrets-- The laundress, Life, knows all about it.
And I, who went to all the funerals Held in Spoon River, swear I never Saw a dead face without thinking it looked Like something washed and ironed.