7 Father's Day Poems For The Rhymesters

Unless you've been living under the proverbial rock, you're probably aware that Father's Day is this Sunday. Hopefully that means that you've got your gift purchased and your card picked out — but what if you want to add a little poetic flourish to your inscription? Happily, the wonder of the Internet means we've got access to all the poems we could ever want. And if you're looking for a Father's Day poem that rhymes that isn't a goofy greeting card verse? Well, these seven picks might fit the bill. Because after all, a piece of rhymed verse is much more than just pairing a couple of words that sound similar together.

I'll be honest: I'm not really a fan of rhyming poetry. Un-rhymed verse and prose poems are more my speed; something about the rhythm of them appeals to me much more than a clever rhyme. Every so often, though, a rhyming poem does manage to strike a chord with me. These ones here? They're the “strike a chord” type of rhyming poem — the ones that make me laugh, or go all mushy, or think, or whatever. Y'know, the ones that do what all good poems do: Inspire you.

Here's a snippet of each, as well as where you can find the whole thing. Happy rhyming!

1. Elinor Maxwell, “Pop”

What would you do if some magical being approached you and was all like, “Hey, if you were going to be born all over again, what would you want your dad to be like?” I'd probably hand said magical being a printout of this Elinor Maxwell poem. It says everything anyone ever needs to know.

I’d look at him and try to be

As nonchalant and gay as he,

And then I’d say, “If I must be

Born again, it seems to me,

It doesn’t matter much just where or when

(For what’s a baby now and then?)

But there’s one thing I must request

So will you do your level best

And kindly see that I shall drop

Into the self-same arms of the self-same Pop?

For, take it from me, he’s the very best dad

That any baby’s ever had!”

2. Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “Father”

The rhyming scheme is a little loose, but this? This is how you know you've got an awesome dad.

He never made a fortune, or a noiseIn the world where men are seeking after fame; But he had a healthy brood of girls and boysWho loved the very ground on which he trod.They thought him just little short of God; Oh you should have heard the way they said his name –Father.’There seemed to be a loving little prayerIn their voices, even when they called him ‘Dad.’Though the man was never heard of anywhere, As a hero, yet somehow understoodHe was doing well his part and making good; And you knew it, by the way his children hadOf saying ‘Father.’

3. Will Allen Dromgoole, “The Bridge Builder”

This one isn't about a father, per se — but the reason the “old man going a lone highway” builds his bridge perfectly encapsulates exactly why dads do the things they do for their kids.

An old man going a lone highway,

Came, at the evening cold and gray,

To a chasm vast and deep and wide.

Through which was flowing a sullen tide

The old man crossed in the twilight dim,

The sullen stream had no fear for him;

But he turned when safe on the other side

And built a bridge to span the tide.

4. William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 37”

I kind of think this one by ol' Bill makes a nice pairing with the Ella Wheeler Wilcox one. The perspective may change, but the sense of pride the children and the fathers both have for one another is the same.

As a decrepit father takes delight To see his active child do deeds of youth, So I, made lame by Fortune's dearest spite, Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth. For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit, Or any of these all, or all, or more, Entitled in thy parts, do crownèd sit, I make my love engrafted to this store. So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised, Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give That I in thy abundance am sufficed And by a part of all thy glory live. Look what is best, that best I wish in thee. This wish I have; then ten times happy me!

5. Edgar Albert Guest, “Father”

Not going to lie: This one is kind of my go-to poem about dads. Fathers, just like everyone else aren't perfect — but their flaws are sometimes the most lovable things about them.

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.

6. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “To My Father on His Birthday”

If you really want to suck up to your dad this Sunday, read him this. Bonus points if it's actually his birthday, too.

Amidst the days of pleasant mirth,

That throw their halo round our earth;

Amidst the tender thoughts that rise

To call bright tears to happy eyes;

Amidst the silken words that move

To syllable the names we love;

There glides no day of gentle bliss

More soothing to the heart than this!

No thoughts of fondness e'er appear

More fond, than those I write of here!

No name can e'er on tablet shine,

My father! more beloved than thine!

7. E. E. Cummings, “my father moved through dooms of love”

E. E. Cummings might be an odd choice for an occasion poem—but for the father who “lives his soul,” it doesn't get much better than this.

My father moved through theys of we,

singing each new leaf out of each tree

(and every child was sure that spring

danced when she heard my father sing)

Images: sightmybyblinded, Pawel Pacholec, Pauls Imaging, candrews, PowderPhotography/Flickr