“Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song.” —Pam Brown
Hello everyone! Today is my dad’s birthday. Had he been alive, he would have been 94. He passed away at the relatively young age of 59.
Clichéd though it may sound, he was a loving husband, a devoted father and a favourite uncle, yet he had his flaws too. My siblings and I have a treasure trove of happy memories of him. The not so happy ones, erased with time.
When we were growing up, we lived in an upcoming steel city which had only two cinema halls. Only one of them would show a movie in English language or with English subtitles every Sunday for the morning show. Dad would make sure to take us kids most Sundays to give us a taste of world cinema. My love for reading comes from him. I was his trusty assistant whether he fixed fuses or the iron, changed bulbs or repaired furniture. I could go on and on….
The memories, of a loving or not, perhaps protective or over protective, sometimes absent or over powering, often idealized or demonized man—loom large in poems about fathers.
Many poets have used poetry as a way to pay tribute to their fathers or to mourn them, like Anne Sexton in All the Pretty Ones.
“This is the yellow scrapbook that you began
the year I was born; as crackling now and wrinkly
as tobacco leaves: clippings where Hoover outran
the Democrats, wiggling his dry finger at me
and Prohibition; news where the Hindenburg went…”
James Wright talks about an emotionally unavailable father in Youth.
“My father toiled fifty years
At Hazel-Atlas Glass,
Caught among girders that smash the kneecaps
Of dumb honyaks.
Did he shudder with hatred in the cold shadow of grease?
Maybe. But my brother and I do know
He came home as quiet as the evening.”
Daddy by Sylvia Plath uses emotional, and sometimes, painful metaphors to depict the poet’s own opinion of her father.
“Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time—
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal.”
Roethke, in My Papa’s Waltz whose rhythm echoes of a waltz, recalls the time he danced with his father in their kitchen.
“We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother’s countenance
Could not unfrown itself.”
William Carlos Williams shares in Danse Russe what it is to be a lone male in a household of women.
“if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head.”
I hope these poems will inspire you to look at the dynamics between a father and his child. For more inspiration, there is always Dylan Thomas’s Do not go gentle into that good night.
So, you must have gathered, today we are going to write about fathers. Whether you want to write about your father, a fictional father or yourself as a father, is up to you. The father you write about can be an ordinary dad, a demigod or a demon. To help you along I am sharing titles of some songs about fathers. Please use at least three in your poem on father. Use the title as is, though of course you can break the title or use punctuation if required but do not insert any word.
1. Dance with my father: Luther Vandross
2. Song for dad: Keith Urban
3. My father’s eyes: Eric Clapton
4. Papa don’t preach: Madonna
5. Daddy lessons: Beyonce and Dixie Chicks
6. Color him father: The Winstons
7. Daddy could swear, I declare: Gladys Knight and the Pips
8. Baby father: Sade
9. My old man: Mac Demarco
10. Father to son: Queen
11. Papa, can you hear me?: Barbara Streisand
12. Daddy’s hands: Holly Dunn
13. My father’s house: Bruce Springsteen
14. Papa don’t take no mess: James Brown
15. Your daddy loves you: Gil Scot-Heron
After you have written the poem and posted on your blog, please click on Mr. Linky here and share the link to your post. You can link your poem till Thursday 2 pm EST. Do come back to read and comment on other posts. We are a community of poets who come here to share, read and offer constructive feedback.
Hi everyone! Welcome to poetics. It rained heavily yesterday and it is nice and cool. I had some extra strawberries so I made a strawberry shortcake with thyme. You can also have chocolate matcha cake with a beverage of your choice.
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Hi there! What a great prompt. Thank you.
Glad you liked it, Sarah. My pleasure.
Thanks for hosting, Punam. I would love some strawberry shortcake with a chai tea. I’d never thought of adding thyme.
Hi Mish. Here’s a slice of strawberry shortcake with chai tea for you. This is the first time I have added thyme and it smells and tastes so good.
Interesting. Thank you!
You are welcome.
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Coming a bit late tonight… very unprepared. Let me try to write something here. My father would have been 106 this year had he been alive.
No worries. See you on the poetry trail.
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oops sorry forgot to include the song titles i had chosen.
have now edited them in.
time for a dunk in the bath. back soon
Great. See you later.
Hello Punam and All. Way late this time. I love your post about fathers, the poem examples and how you describe your own relationship with yours. Will do my best to write something and link up later.
Hi Li. I am glad you liked the prompt. Look forward to your post.
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Lovely share of memories of your dad Punam. What a coincidence that my father was born in March and mine was so much like you’ve described your dad.
Thanks, Sadje. I am not surprised at the coincidences. ❤️
Hi Punam et all the d’Verse community, just posted the link to my contribution over at Mr. Linky there. Hope ye all enjoy the read! 🙏🤞📖😁
Thanks for joining in, Ken.😊
A lovely tribute to your dad, Punam, and thank you for the inspiration. 🙂
Thanks a lot, Aishwarya, and you are welcome. 😊
You are welcome, Ma’am. 🙂
Hi great post Punam sorry I am late but will try to get it done before the deadline 🙂
I am sure you will beat the deadline. 🙂❤️
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To All and especially for Grace,
I enjoyed the prompt and since when I woke up it was too early to get up I wrote, late, a little ditty for it from the side of the bed. I may supply it for April 10, Prosery.
I kind of like it,