‘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.
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.
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.
‘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.
‘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.
‘Eating Together’ by Li-Young Lee is a beautiful contemporary poem about death. It uses a thoughtful simile and direct language.
‘The Moss of His Skin’ by Anne Sexton is an unforgettable poem about a young girl who is buried next to her father.
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.
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 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.
‘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.
‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ is a powerful poem about how important it is, despite death’s inevitability, to fight against it until the bitter end.