Poems about Losing a Father

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

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

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

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

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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