5 Funny Father’s Day Poems That Will Make Your Dad Laugh Instead of Groan

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Have you ever Googled “funny dad poems?” Boatloads of results pop up, but I don’t really think most of them should be there — because almost none of them are actually funny. There are plenty of greeting card rhymes so sweet they’ll make your teeth hurt; plenty more of them are so bad they’re guaranteed to make you roll your eyes at the very least; but seriously. There are criminally few dad-related poems out there that can be considered even mildly amusing, let alone actually funny.

But that’s why we’re here, Gentle Readers: We comb through all those awful dribs and drabs of verse so you don’t have to. I managed to dredge up five — count ‘em! — poems, both by great writers and by random people on the Internet, that will hopefully make your dad laugh instead of roll his eyes this Father’s Day. The texts have been reproduced in their entirety here for the ones that are short enough; for the longer ones, we’ll tell you where to go to find the whole thing. Ready? Here we go:

1. William Carlos Williams, “Danse Russe”

I love William Carlos Williams. The first time I read “This Is Just to Say,” I laughed my head off. “Danse Russe” is equally magnificent; after all, are not all dads the happy geniuses of their households when dancing ridiculously in front of the mirror?

“If when my wife is sleeping

and the baby and Kathleen

are sleeping

and the sun is a flame-white disc

in silken mists

above shining trees,-

if I in my north room

dance naked, grotesquely

before my mirror

waving my shirt round my head

and singing softly to myself:

‘I am lonely, lonely,

I was born to be lonely,

I am best so!’

If I admire my arms, my face,

my shoulders, flanks, buttocks

against the yellow drawn shades,-

Who shall say I am not

the happy genius of my household?”

2. Adriana Velez, “From the Fashionista”

Last year, Adriana Velez over at The Stir came up with some hilarious parody verses perfect for inscribing in Father’s Day cards to pep them up a little. This little gem is my favorite, mostly because it is the most hilarious riff on “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” I’ve ever seen.

“You grow old, you grow old

Why do you, like, still wear your pants rolled?

I'm embarrassed to be seen with you, but I still love you, Daddy!”

3. Su Tung-p’o (trans. Arthur Waley), “On the Birth of His Son”

Subtle. Poignant. And also quite funny, I think, even if it’s not necessarily intended to be a comedic masterpiece for the ages.

“Families, when a child is born

Want it to be intelligent.

I, through intelligence,

Having wrecked my whole life,

Only hope the baby will prove

Ignorant and stupid.

Then he will crown a tranquil life

By becoming a Cabinet Minister.”

4. The Internet, "Some Random Limerick"

For those of you with scientist dads. No matter how much he complains about being badgered by his kids all the time, at least you can point him towards this little rhyme. It's not actually called "Some Random Limerick," by the way; since it doesn't have a title, though, and I know nothing about where it came from, that's what I'm calling it.

“There once was a scientist mad

Who kept clones of himself as a lad;

He arranged them on shelves

And taught all of his selves

To shout loudly (in unison) ‘Dad!’”

5. Edgar Albert Guest, “Father”

This one is a little longer than the others, so you’ll have to click through to read it all; the following excerpt should give you a taste of what it's like:

“My father knows the proper way

The nation should be run;

He tells us children every day

Just what should now be done.

He knows the way to fix the trusts,

He has a simple plan;

But if the furnace needs repairs,

We have to hire a man.”

Read the rest here. Happy Dad's Day!