Fathers and Sons

A Child is Something Else Again by Yehuda Amichai

‘A Child is Something Else Again’ by Yehuda Amichai is a poem about parenthood and childhood. A child represents a great deal, the speaker says, and provides a parent with the will to live. 

A Child is Something Else Again by Yehuda Amichai Visual Representation

Only a Dad by Edgar Albert Guest

‘Only a Dad’ by Edgar Albert Guest is dedicated to the poet’s father. The poem describes the man’s willingness to self-sacrifice and do whatever he can to make his children happy. 

Only a Dad by Edgar Albert Guest Visual Representation

Nightmare Begins Responsibility by Michael S. Harper

‘Nightmare Begins Responsibility’ by Michael S. Harper is an unforgettable poem in which the speaker describes the loss of a child. While struggling to trust the doctors caring for his newborn son, the speaker watches on helplessly. 

The Gift by Li-Young Lee

‘The Gift’ by Li-Young Lee is an effective contemporary poem about the way a father’s voice and attitude influenced his son. 

The Gift by Li-Young Lee Visual Representation

Sine Qua Non by A.E. Stallings

‘Sine Qua Non’ by A.E. Stallings is a thoughtful depiction of what “absence” and “nothing” feel like. The poem is specifically concerned with one speaker’s father. 

Sine Qua Non by A.E. Stallings 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

My Son, My Executioner by Donald Hall

Donald Hall’s poem ‘My Son, My Executioner’ centers on how a speaker looks at his child’s innocent face and wishes to die in order to get immortality. It taps on the spiritual bliss of parenting.

My Son, My Executioner by Donald Hall VIsual Representation

The Lost Pilot by James Tate

‘The Lost Pilot’ is dedicated to James Tate’s father, who died on a bombing mission in World War II in 1944. He was a co-pilot of a B-17.

The Lost Pilot by James Tate Visual Representation

A Prayer For My Son by William Butler Yeats

‘A Prayer for my Son,’ written from the perspective of a father who wants to protect his son against all odds during the brewing war in Ireland. Read the poem with a complete analysis.

A Prayer For My Son by William Butler Yeats Visual Representation

Men at Forty by Donald Justice

‘Men at Forty’ by Donald Justice is a moving poem about aging and fatherhood. The speaker is describing what it’s like for all men when they reach forty and consider their pasts and presents.

Men at Forty by Donald Justice

The Secret Heart by Robert Coffin

‘The Secret Heart’ by Robert Coffin speaks of a man remembering his father and explores love through a tender moment between father and son.

The Secret Heart by Robert Coffin Visual Representation

Being Brave at Night by Edgar Albert Guest

‘Being Brave at Night’ is written by the American poet Edgar Albert Guest and it was published in his poetry collection Rhymes of Childhood. The speaker of this piece talks about how he is not afraid of anything that comes across to terrify him at night.

Being Brave at Night by Edgar Albert Guest Visual Representation

My Father by Peter Oresick

‘My Father’ by Peter Oresick is a poem that delves into the narrator’s relationship with his father. The narrator is regretful that his father’s pain created a wall between them, and he yearns to better understand him.

My Father by Peter Oresick 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.

Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop

‘Filling Station’ by Elizabeth Bishop describes a speaker’s initial reaction, and later feelings, about the value of a dirty filling station. 

Farther by Owen Sheers

‘Farther’ was first published in Sheer’s second collection, Skirrid Hill, in 2005. The poem depicts the relationship between the poet and his father.

From Not Him by Wopko Jensma

‘From Not Him’ by Wopko Jensma tells a story of a father who is rigid in his daily activities regarding the upbringing of his children.

On My First Son by Ben Jonson

‘On my First Son’ is a poem about a father who has lost a young son, and attempts to distance himself from the tragedy in numerous ways.

The Land of Dreams by William Blake

In ‘The Land of Dreams,’ William Blake depicts a conversation between a father and his son. These two will talk about a dream that the little boy had.

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry, straight to your inbox

Start Your Perfect Poetry Journey

The Best-Kept Secrets of Poetry

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry ever straight to your inbox