Poems about the Death of a Father

Traveling Light by Alice Fulton

‘Traveling Light’ by Alice Fulton is a powerful poem that weaves together images of the present and the past. Throughout, readers can explore Fulton’s understanding of her relationship with her father and her current relationship with the landscape around her.

Traveling Light by Alice Fulton Visual Representation

Yesterday by W. S. Merwin

In ‘Yesterday,’ Merwin presents the conversation between two individuals regarding their last meeting with their fathers. This interesting conversation centers on the irony of human relationships.

Yesterday by W. S. Merwin Visual Representation

To My Father, Who Died by Dawn Garisch

Dawn Garisch’s poem ‘To My Father, Who Died’ is about the relationship of the poet’s father with the sea. It depicts the cycle of life and death through the metaphor of the sea.

To My Father, Who Died by Dawn Garisch Visual Representation

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax

‘Lizzie Borden Took an Ax’ is a well-known children’s rhyme that alludes to the accusations against Lizzie Borden in regard to the murder of her father and step-mother.

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax Visual Representation

Amateur Fighter by Natasha Trethewey

‘Amateur Fighter’ is a poem about a speaker thinking of her father, a boxer. His painful journey inside and outside the ring is portrayed through this piece.

Amateur Fighter by Natasha Trethewey Visual Representation

Eating Together by Li-Young Lee

‘Eating Together’ by Li-Young Lee is a beautiful contemporary poem about death. It uses a thoughtful simile and direct language.

Eating Together by Li-Young Lee Visual Representation

White Apples by Donald Hall

The poet of ‘White Apples’ Donald Hall uses plain language and a simple style to describe the effect of a loved one’s death in a speaker’s mind. The way he misses his father is described in this poem.

White Apples by Donald Hall Visual Representation

10 of the Best Poems for Father’s Day

On this list, readers will find ten of the best poems to read in celebration of father’s day. They explore themes of child/parent relationships, love, and generational wisdom.

Obituary by A.K. Ramanujan

‘Obituary’ by A.K. Ramanujan explores the universal toll a parent’s passing can have on a child and all the ways that their memory remains even after their death.

Obituary by A.K. Ramanujan Visual Representation

Poem at Thirty-Nine by Alice Walker

‘Poem at Thirty-Nine’ by Alice Walker describes the speaker’s father’s life. She admits how much she misses him and how she wishes he hadn’t had such a hard life.

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