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Best Famous Grandfather Poems

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

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Written by T S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot | |

A Cooking Egg

 En l’an trentiesme do mon aage
Que toutes mes hontes j’ay beues.
PIPIT sate upright in her chair Some distance from where I was sitting; Views of the Oxford Colleges Lay on the table, with the knitting.
Daguerreotypes and silhouettes, Here grandfather and great great aunts, Supported on the mantelpiece An Invitation to the Dance.
I shall not want Honour in Heaven For I shall meet Sir Philip Sidney And have talk with Coriolanus And other heroes of that kidney.
I shall not want Capital in Heaven For I shall meet Sir Alfred Mond.
We two shall lie together, lapt In a five per cent.
Exchequer Bond.
I shall not want Society in Heaven, Lucretia Borgia shall be my Bride; Her anecdotes will be more amusing Than Pipit’s experience could provide.
I shall not want Pipit in Heaven: Madame Blavatsky will instruct me In the Seven Sacred Trances; Piccarda de Donati will conduct me.
But where is the penny world I bought To eat with Pipit behind the screen? The red-eyed scavengers are creeping From Kentish Town and Golder’s Green; Where are the eagles and the trumpets? Buried beneath some snow-deep Alps.
Over buttered scones and crumpets Weeping, weeping multitudes Droop in a hundred A.

Written by Ellis Parker Butler | |

A Pastoral

 Just as the sun was setting
Back of the Western hills
Grandfather stood by the window
Eating the last of his pills.
And Grandmother, by the cupboard, Knitting, heard him say: “I ought to have went to the village To fetch some more pills today.
” Then Grandmother snuffled a teardrop And said.
“It is jest like I suz T’ th’ parson—Grandfather’s liver Ain’t what it used to was: “It’s gittin’ torpid and dormant, It don’t function like of old, And even them pills he swallers Don’t seem no more t’ catch hold; “They used to grab it and shake it And joggle it up and down And turn dear Grandfather yaller Except when they turned him brown; “I remember when we was married His liver was lively and gay, A kickin’ an’ rippin’ an’ givin’ Dear Ezry new pains ev’ry day; “It used to turn clear over backwards An’ palpitate wuss’n a pump An’ give him the janders and yallers An’ bounce around thumpty-thump; “But now it is torpid and dormant And painless and quiet and cold; Ah, me! all’s so peaceful an’ quiet Since Grandfather’s liver ’s grown old! Then Grandmother wiped a new teardrop And sighed: “It is just like I suz T’ th’ parson: Grandfather’s liver Ain’t what it used to was.

Written by Ogden Nash | |

Peekabo I Almost See You

 Middle-aged life is merry, and I love to
lead it,
But there comes a day when your eyes
are all right but your arm isn't long
to hold the telephone book where you can read it,
And your friends get jocular, so you go
to the oculist,
And of all your friends he is the joculist,
So over his facetiousness let us skim,
Only noting that he has been waiting for you ever since
you said Good evening to his grandfather clock under
the impression that it was him,
And you look at his chart and it says SHRDLU QWERTYOP,
and you say Well, why SHRDNTLU QWERTYOP? and he
says one set of glasses won't do.
You need two.
One for reading Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason and Keats's "Endymion" with, And the other for walking around without saying Hello to strange wymion with.
So you spend your time taking off your seeing glasses to put on your reading glasses, and then remembering that your reading glasses are upstairs or in the car, And then you can't find your seeing glasses again because without them on you can't see where they are.
Enough of such mishaps, they would try the patience of an ox, I prefer to forget both pairs of glasses and pass my declining years saluting strange women and grandfather clocks.

More great poems below...

Written by Barry Tebb | |


 Richard Chessick, John Gedo, James Grotstein and Vamik Voltan

What darknesses have you lit up for me

What depths of infinite space plumbed

With your finely honed probes

What days of unending distress lightened 

With your wisdom, skills and jouissance?

Conquistadores of the unconscious

For three decades how often have I come to you

And from your teachings gathered the manna

Of meaning eluding me alone in my northern eyrie?

Chance or God’s guidance – being a poet I chose the latter – 

Brought me to dip my ankle like an amah’s blessing

Into the Holy Ganges of prelude and grosse fuge 

Of ego and unconscious, wandering alone

In uncharted waters and faltering

Until I raised my hand and found it grasped

By your firm fingers pulling inexorably shoreward.
Did I know, how could I know, madness Would descend on my family, first a sad grandfather Who had wrought destruction on three generations Including our children’s? I locked with the horns of madness, Trusted my learning, won from you at whose feet I sat Alone and in spirit; yet not once did you let me down, In ward rounds, staying on after the other visitors – How few and lost – had gone, chatting to a charge nurse While together we made our case To the well meaning but unenlightened psychiatrist, Chair of the department no less, grumbling good-naturedly At our fumbling formulations of splitting as a diagnostic aid.
When Cyril’s nightmare vision of me in a white coat Leading a posse of nurses chasing him round his flat With a flotilla of ambulances on witches’ brooms Bringing his psychotic core to the fore and The departmental chairman finally signing the form.
Cyril discharged on Largactil survived two years To die on a dual carriageway ‘high on morphine’ And I learned healing is caring as much as knowing, The slow hard lesson of a lifetime, the concentration Of a chess master, the footwork of a dancer, The patience of a scholar and a saint’s humility, While I have only a poet’s quickness, a journalist’s Ability to speed-read and the clumsiness Of a circus clown.

Written by Chris Tusa | |


 My grandmother’s teeth stare at her
from a mason jar on the nightstand.
The radio turns itself on, sunlight crawls through the window, and she thinks she feels her bright blue eyes rolling out her head.
She’s certain her blood has turned to dirt, that beetles haunt the dark hollow of her bones.
The clock on the kitchen wall is missing its big hand.
The potatoes in the sink are growing eyes.
She stares at my grandfather standing in the doorway, his smile flickering like the side of an axe.
Outside, in the yard, a chicken hops through the tall grass, looking for its head.

Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

The Ballad Of The Children Of The Czar


The children of the Czar
Played with a bouncing ball

In the May morning, in the Czar's garden,
Tossing it back and forth.
It fell among the flowerbeds Or fled to the north gate.
A daylight moon hung up In the Western sky, bald white.
Like Papa's face, said Sister, Hurling the white ball forth.
2 While I ate a baked potato Six thousand miles apart, In Brooklyn, in 1916, Aged two, irrational.
When Franklin D.
Roosevelt Was an Arrow Collar ad.
O Nicholas! Alas! Alas! My grandfather coughed in your army, Hid in a wine-stinking barrel, For three days in Bucharest Then left for America To become a king himself.
3 I am my father's father, You are your children's guilt.
In history's pity and terror The child is Aeneas again; Troy is in the nursery, The rocking horse is on fire.
Child labor! The child must carry His fathers on his back.
But seeing that so much is past And that history has no ruth For the individual, Who drinks tea, who catches cold, Let anger be general: I hate an abstract thing.
4 Brother and sister bounced The bounding, unbroken ball, The shattering sun fell down Like swords upon their play, Moving eastward among the stars Toward February and October.
But the Maywind brushed their cheeks Like a mother watching sleep, And if for a moment they fight Over the bouncing ball And sister pinches brother And brother kicks her shins, Well! The heart of man in known: It is a cactus bloom.
5 The ground on which the ball bounces Is another bouncing ball.
The wheeling, whirling world Makes no will glad.
Spinning in its spotlight darkness, It is too big for their hands.
A pitiless, purposeless Thing, Arbitrary, and unspent, Made for no play, for no children, But chasing only itself.
The innocent are overtaken, They are not innocent.
They are their father's fathers, The past is inevitable.
6 Now, in another October Of this tragic star, I see my second year, I eat my baked potato.
It is my buttered world, But, poked by my unlearned hand, It falls from the highchair down And I begin to howl And I see the ball roll under The iron gate which is locked.
Sister is screaming, brother is howling, The ball has evaded their will.
Even a bouncing ball Is uncontrollable, And is under the garden wall.
I am overtaken by terror Thinking of my father's fathers, And of my own will.

Written by Anne Sexton | |

The Fury Of Beautiful Bones

 Sing me a thrush, bone.
Sing me a nest of cup and pestle.
Sing me a sweetbread fr an old grandfather.
Sing me a foot and a doorknob, for you are my love.
Oh sing, bone bag man, sing.
Your head is what I remember that Augusty you were in love with another woman but taht didn't matter.
I was the gury of your bones, your fingers long and nubby, your forehead a beacon, bare as marble and I worried you like an odor because you had not quite forgotten, bone bag man, garlic in the North End, the book you dedicated, naked as a fish, naked as someone drowning into his own mouth.
I wonder, Mr.
Bone man, what you're thinking of your fury now, gone sour as a sinking whale, crawling up the alphabet on her own bones.
Am I in your ear still singing songs in the rain, me of the death rattle, me of the magnolias, me of the sawdust tavern at the city's edge.
Women have lovely bones, arms, neck, thigh and I admire them also, but your bones supersede loveliness.
They are the tough ones that get broken and reset.
I just can't answer for you, only for your bones, round rulers, round nudgers, round poles, numb nubkins, the sword of sugar.
I feel the skull, Mr.
Skeleton, living its own life in its own skin.

Written by Anne Sexton | |

45 Mercy Street

 In my dream, 
drilling into the marrow 
of my entire bone, 
my real dream, 
I'm walking up and down Beacon Hill 
searching for a street sign -- 
Not there.
I try the Back Bay.
Not there.
Not there.
And yet I know the number.
45 Mercy Street.
I know the stained-glass window of the foyer, the three flights of the house with its parquet floors.
I know the furniture and mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, the servants.
I know the cupboard of Spode the boat of ice, solid silver, where the butter sits in neat squares like strange giant's teeth on the big mahogany table.
I know it well.
Not there.
Where did you go? 45 Mercy Street, with great-grandmother kneeling in her whale-bone corset and praying gently but fiercely to the wash basin, at five A.
at noon dozing in her wiggy rocker, grandfather taking a nap in the pantry, grandmother pushing the bell for the downstairs maid, and Nana rocking Mother with an oversized flower on her forehead to cover the curl of when she was good and when she was.
And where she was begat and in a generation the third she will beget, me, with the stranger's seed blooming into the flower called Horrid.
I walk in a yellow dress and a white pocketbook stuffed with cigarettes, enough pills, my wallet, my keys, and being twenty-eight, or is it forty-five? I walk.
I walk.
I hold matches at street signs for it is dark, as dark as the leathery dead and I have lost my green Ford, my house in the suburbs, two little kids sucked up like pollen by the bee in me and a husband who has wiped off his eyes in order not to see my inside out and I am walking and looking and this is no dream just my oily life where the people are alibis and the street is unfindable for an entire lifetime.
Pull the shades down -- I don't care! Bolt the door, mercy, erase the number, rip down the street sign, what can it matter, what can it matter to this cheapskate who wants to own the past that went out on a dead ship and left me only with paper? Not there.
I open my pocketbook, as women do, and fish swim back and forth between the dollars and the lipstick.
I pick them out, one by one and throw them at the street signs, and shoot my pocketbook into the Charles River.
Next I pull the dream off and slam into the cement wall of the clumsy calendar I live in, my life, and its hauled up notebooks.

Written by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Le Roy Goldman

 "What will you do when you come to die,
If all your life long you have rejected Jesus,
And know as you lie there, He is not your friend?"
Over and over I said, I, the revivalist.
Ah, yes! but there are friends and friends.
And blessed are you, say I, who know all now, You who have lost, ere you pass, A father or mother, or old grandfather or mother Some beautiful soul that lived life strongly, And knew you all through, and loved you ever, Who would not fail to speak for you, And give God an intimate view of your soul, As only one of your flesh could do it.
That is the hand your hand will reach for, To lead you along the corridor To the court where you are a stranger!

Written by Robert William Service | |


 As home from church we two did plod,
"Grandpa," said Rosy, "What is God?"
Seeking an answer to her mind,
This is the best that I could find.
God is the Iz-ness of our Cosmic Biz; The high, the low, the near, the far, The atom and the evening star; The lark, the shark, the cloud, the clod, The whole darned Universe - that's God.
Some deem that others there be, And to them humbly bend the knee; To Mumbo Jumbo and to Joss, To Bud and Allah - but the Boss Is mine .
While there are suns and seas MY timeless God shall dwell in these.
In every glowing leaf He lives; When roses die His life he gives; God is not outside and apart From Nature, but her very heart; No Architect (as I of verse) He is Himself the Universe.
Said Rosy-kins: "Grandpa, how odd Is your imagining of God.
To me he's always just appeared A huge Grandfather with a beard.

Written by Robert William Service | |

The Old Armchair

 In all the pubs from Troon to Ayr
Grandfather's father would repair
With Bobby Burns, a drouthy pair,
 The glass to clink;
And oftenwhiles, when not too "fou,"
They'd roar a bawdy stave or two,
From midnight muk to morning dew,
 And drink and drink.
And Grandfather, with eye aglow And proper pride, would often show An old armchair where long ago The Bard would sit; Reciting there with pawky glee "The Lass that Made the Bed for Me;" Or whiles a rhyme about the flea That ne'er was writ.
Then I would seek the Poet's chair And plant my kilted buttocks there, And read with joy the Bard of Ayr In my own tongue; The Diel, the Daisy and the Louse The Hare, the Haggis and the Mouse, (What fornication and carouse!) When I was young.
Though Kipling, Hardy, Stevenson Have each my admiration won, Today, my rhyme-race almost run, My fancy turns To him who did Pegasus prod For me, Bard of my native sod, The sinner best-loved of God - Rare Robbie Burns.

Written by Robert William Service | |

The Centenarian

 Great Grandfather was ninety-nine
 And so it was our one dread,
That though his health was superfine
 He'd fail to make the hundred.
Though he was not a rolling stone No moss he seemed to gather: A patriarch of brawn and bone Was Great Grandfather.
He should have been senile and frail Instead of hale and hearty; But no, he loved a mug of ale, A boisterous old party.
'As frisky as a cold,' said he, 'A man's allotted span I've lived but now I plan to be A Centenarian.
' Then one night when I called on him Oh what a change I saw! His head was bowed, his eye was dim, Down-fallen was his jaw.
Said he: 'Leave me to die, I pray; I'm no more bloody use .
For in my mouth I found today-- A tooth that's loose.

Written by Robert William Service | |


 This morning on my pensive walk
I saw a fisher on a rock,
Who watched his ruby float careen
In waters bluely crystalline,
While silver fishes nosed his bait,
Yet hesitated ere they ate.
Nearby I saw a mother mid Who knitted by her naked child, And watched him as he romped with glee, In golden sand, in singing sea, Her eyes so blissfully love-lit She gazed and gazed and ceased to knit.
And then I watched a painter chap, Grey-haired, a grandfather, mayhap, Who daubed with delicate caress As if in love with loveliness, And looked at me with vague surmise, The joy of beauty in his eyes.
Yet in my Morning Rag I read Of paniked peoples, dark with dread, Of flame and famine near and far, Of revolution, pest and war; The fall of this, the rise of that, The writhing proletariat.
I saw the fisher from his hook Take off a shiny perch to cook; The mother garbed her laughing boy, And sang a silver lilt of joy; The artist, packing up his paint, Went serenely as a saint.
The sky was gentleness and love, The sea soft-crooning as a dove; Peace reigned so brilliantly profound In every sight, in every sound.
Alas, what mockery for me! Can peace be mine till Man be free?

Written by Etheridge Knight | |

The Idea of Ancestry

 Taped to the wall of my cell are 47 pictures: 47 black
faces: my father, mother, grandmothers (1 dead), grand-
fathers (both dead), brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts,
cousins (1st and 2nd), nieces, and nephews.
They stare across the space at me sprawling on my bunk.
I know their dark eyes, they know mine.
I know their style, they know mine.
I am all of them, they are all of me; they are farmers, I am a thief, I am me, they are thee.
I have at one time or another been in love with my mother, 1 grandmother, 2 sisters, 2 aunts (1 went to the asylum), and 5 cousins.
I am now in love with a 7-yr-old niece (she sends me letters in large block print, and her picture is the only one that smiles at me).
I have the same name as 1 grandfather, 3 cousins, 3 nephews, and 1 uncle.
The uncle disappeared when he was 15, just took off and caught a freight (they say).
He's discussed each year when the family has a reunion, he causes uneasiness in the clan, he is an empty space.
My father's mother, who is 93 and who keeps the Family Bible with everbody's birth dates (and death dates) in it, always mentions him.
There is no place in her Bible for "whereabouts unknown.

Written by Philip Levine | |

The New World

 A man roams the streets with a basket
of freestone peaches hollering, "Peaches,
peaches, yellow freestone peaches for sale.
" My grandfather in his prime could outshout the Tigers of Wrath or the factory whistles along the river.
Hamtramck hungered for yellow freestone peaches, downriver wakened from a dream of work, Zug Island danced into the bright day glad to be alive.
Full-figured women in their negligees streamed into the streets from the dark doorways to demand in Polish or Armenian the ripened offerings of this new world.
Josef Prisckulnick out of Dubrovitsa to Detroit by way of Ellis Island raised himself regally to his full height of five feet two and transacted until the fruit was gone into those eager hands.
Thus would there be a letter sent across an ocean and a continent, and thus would Sadie waken to the news of wealth without limit in the bright and distant land, and thus bags were packed and she set sail for America.
Some of this is true.
The women were gaunt.
All day the kids dug in the back lots searching for anything.
The place was Russia with another name.
Joe was five feet two.
Dubrovitsa burned to gray ashes the west wind carried off, then Rovno went, then the Dnieper turned to dust.
We sat around the table telling lies while the late light filled an empty glass.
Bread, onions, the smell of burning butter, small white potatoes we shared with no one because the hour was wrong, the guest was late, and this was Michigan in 1928.