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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 Pablo Neruda |

Cats Dream

 How neatly a cat sleeps,
Sleeps with its paws and its posture,
Sleeps with its wicked claws,
And with its unfeeling blood,
Sleeps with ALL the rings a series 
Of burnt circles which have formed 
The odd geology of its sand-colored tail.
I should like to sleep like a cat, With all the fur of time, With a tongue rough as flint, With the dry sex of fire and After speaking to no one, Stretch myself over the world, Over roofs and landscapes, With a passionate desire To hunt the rats in my dreams.
I have seen how the cat asleep Would undulate, how the night flowed Through it like dark water and at times, It was going to fall or possibly Plunge into the bare deserted snowdrifts.
Sometimes it grew so much in sleep Like a tiger's great-grandfather, And would leap in the darkness over Rooftops, clouds and volcanoes.
Sleep, sleep cat of the night with Episcopal ceremony and your stone-carved moustache.
Take care of all our dreams Control the obscurity Of our slumbering prowess With your relentless HEART And the great ruff of your tail.

Written by Laure-Anne Bosselaar |

The Worlds in this World

 Doors were left open in heaven again: 
drafts wheeze, clouds wrap their ripped pages 
around roofs and trees.
Like wet flags, shutters flap and fold.
Even light is blown out of town, its last angles caught in sopped newspaper wings and billowing plastic — all this in one American street.
Elsewhere, somewhere, a tide recedes, incense is lit, an infant sucks from a nipple, a grenade shrieks, a man buys his first cane.
Think of it: the worlds in this world.
Yesterday, while a Chinese woman took hours to sew seven silk stitches into a tapestry started generations ago, guards took only seconds to mop up a cannibal’s brain from the floor of a Wisconsin jail, while the man who bashed the killer’s head found no place to hide, and sat sobbing for his mother in a shower stall — the worlds in this world.
Or say, one year — say 1916: while my grandfather, a prisoner of war in Holland, sewed perfect, eighteen-buttoned booties for his wife with the skin of a dead dog found in a trench; shrapnel slit Apollinaire's skull, Jesuits brandished crucifixes in Ouagadougou, and the Parthenon was already in ruins.
That year, thousands and thousands of Jews from the Holocaust were already — were still ¬— busy living their lives; while gnawed by self-doubt, Rilke couldn’t write a line for weeks inVienna’s Victorgasse, and fishermen drowned off Finnish coasts, and lovers kissed for the very first time, while in Kashmir an old woman fell asleep, her cheek on her good husband's belly.
And all along that year the winds kept blowing as they do today, above oceans and steeples, and this one speck of dust was lifted from somewhere to land exactly here, on my desk, and will lift again — into the worlds in this world.
Say now, at this instant: one thornless rose opens in a blue jar above that speck, but you — reading this — know nothing of how it came to flower here, and I nothing of who bred it, or where, nothing of my son and daughter’s fate, of what grows in your garden or behind the walls of your chest: is it longing? Fear? Will it matter? Listen to that wind, listen to it ranting The doors of heaven never close, that’s the Curse, that’s the Miracle.

Written by Donald Hall |


 To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young, we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer pond, ignorant and content.
But a marriage, that began without harm, scatters into debris on the shore, and a friend from school drops cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us past middle age, our wife will die at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go.
All go.
The pretty lover who announces that she is temporary is temporary.
The bold woman, middle-aged against our old age, sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge and affirm that it is fitting and delicious to lose everything.

More great poems below...

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 Emily Dickinson |

The Mountain sat upon the Plain

 The Mountain sat upon the Plain
In his tremendous Chair --
His observation omnifold,
His inquest, everywhere --

The Seasons played around his knees
Like Children round a sire --
Grandfather of the Days is He
Of Dawn, the Ancestor --

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.

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 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 Philip Levine |

The Return

 All afternoon my father drove the country roads
between Detroit and Lansing.
What he was looking for I never learned, no doubt because he never knew himself, though he would grab any unfamiliar side road and follow where it led past fields of tall sweet corn in August or in winter those of frozen sheaves.
Often he'd leave the Terraplane beside the highway to enter the stunned silence of mid-September, his eyes cast down for a sign, the only music his own breath or the wind tracking slowly through the stalks or riding above the barren ground.
Later he'd come home, his dress shoes coated with dust or mud, his long black overcoat stained or tattered at the hem, sit wordless in his favorite chair, his necktie loosened, and stare at nothing.
At first my brothers and I tried conversation, questions only he could answer: Why had he gone to war? Where did he learn Arabic? Where was his father? I remember none of this.
I read it all later, years later as an old man, a grandfather myself, in a journal he left my mother with little drawings of ruined barns and telephone poles, receding toward a future he never lived, aphorisms from Montaigne, Juvenal, Voltaire, and perhaps a few of his own: "He who looks for answers finds questions.
" Three times he wrote, "I was meant to be someone else," and went on to describe the perfumes of the damp fields.
"It all starts with seeds," and a pencil drawing of young apple trees he saw somewhere or else dreamed.
I inherited the book when I was almost seventy and with it the need to return to who we were.
In the Detroit airport I rented a Taurus; the woman at the counter was bored or crazy: Did I want company? she asked; she knew every road from here to Chicago.
She had a slight accent, Dutch or German, long black hair, and one frozen eye.
I considered but decided to go alone, determined to find what he had never found.
Slowly the autumn morning warmed, flocks of starlings rose above the vacant fields and blotted out the sun.
I drove on until I found the grove of apple trees heavy with fruit, and left the car, the motor running, beside a sagging fence, and entered his life on my own for maybe the first time.
A crow welcomed me home, the sun rode above, austere and silent, the early afternoon was cloudless, perfect.
When the crow dragged itself off to another world, the shade deepened slowly in pools that darkened around the trees; for a moment everything in sight stopped.
The wind hummed in my good ear, not words exactly, not nonsense either, nor what I spoke to myself, just the language creation once wakened to.
I took off my hat, a mistake in the presence of my father's God, wiped my brow with what I had, the back of my hand, and marveled at what was here: nothing at all except the stubbornness of things.

Written by Aleksandr Blok |

The Death of Grandfather

 We waited commonly for sleep or even death.
The instances were wearisome as ages.
But suddenly the wind's refreshing breath Touched through the window the Holy Bible's pages: An old man goes there - who's now all white-haired - With rapid steps and merry eyes, alone, He smiles to us, and often calls with hand, And leaves us with a gait, that is well-known.
And suddenly we all, who watched the old man's track, Well recognized just him who now lay before us, And turning in a sudden rapture back, Beheld a corpse with eyes forever closed .
And it was good for us the soul's way to trace, And, in the leaving one, to find the glee it's forming.
The time had come.
Recall and love in grace, And celebrate another house-warming!

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 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 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 Robert Francis |

Hallelujah: A Sestina

 A wind's word, the Hebrew Hallelujah.
I wonder they never gave it to a boy (Hal for short) boy with wind-wild hair.
It means Praise God, as well it should since praise Is what God's for.
Why didn't they call my father Hallelujah instead of Ebenezer? Eben, of course, but christened Ebenezer, Product of Nova Scotia (hallelujah).
Daniel, a country doctor, was his father And my father his tenth and final boy.
A baby and last, he had a baby's praise: Red petticoats, red cheeks, and crow-black hair.
A boy has little to say about his hair And little about a name like Ebenezer Except that you can shorten either.
Praise God for that, for that shout Hallelujah.
Shout Hallelujah for everything a boy Can be that is not his father or grandfather.
But then, before you know it, he is a father Too and passing on his brand of hair To one more perfectly defenseless boy, Dubbing him John or James or Ebenezer But never, so far as I know, Hallelujah, As if God didn't need quite that much praise.
But what I'm coming to - Could I ever praise My father half enough for being a father Who let me be myself? Sing Hallelujah.
Preacher he was with a prophet's head of hair And what but a prophet's name was Ebenezer, However little I guessed it as a boy? Outlandish names of course are never a boy's Choice.
And it takes some time to learn to praise.
Stone of Help is the meaning of Ebenezer.
Stone of Help - what fitter name for my father? Always the Stone of Help however his hair Might graduate from black to Hallelujah.
Such is the old drama of boy and father.
Praise from a grayhead now with thinning hair.
Sing Ebenezer, Robert, sing Hallelujah!

Written by Seamus Heaney |


 Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pin rest; snug as a gun.
Under my window, a clean rasping sound When the spade sinks into gravelly ground: My father, digging.
I look down Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds Bends low, comes up twenty years away Stooping in rhythm through potato drills Where he was digging.
The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep To scatter new potatoes that we picked, Loving their cool hardness in our hands.
By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.
My grandfather cut more turf in a day Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle Corked sloppily with paper.
He straightened up To drink it, then fell to right away Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods Over his shoulder, going down and down For the good turf.
The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.
Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.