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Father
by
Edgar Guest


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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.

My father, in a day or two
  Could land big thieves in jail;
There’s nothing that he cannot do,
  He knows no word like “fail.”
“Our confidence” he would restore,
  Of that there is no doubt;
But if there is a chair to mend,
  We have to send it out.

All public questions that arise,
  He settles on the spot;
He waits not till the tumult dies,
  But grabs it while it’s hot.
In matters of finance he can
  Tell Congress what to do;
But, O, he finds it hard to meet
  His bills as they fall due.

It almost makes him sick to read
  The things law-makers say;
Why, father’s just the man they need,
  He never goes astray.
All wars he’d very quickly end,
  As fast as I can write it;
But when a neighbor starts a fuss,
  ’Tis mother has to fight it.

In conversation father can
  Do many wondrous things;
He’s built upon a wiser plan
  Than presidents or kings.
He knows the ins and outs of each
  And every deep transaction;
We look to him for theories,
  But look to ma for action.

This poem is in the public domain.

 

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Edgar Guest (1881 - 1959)  was born in England,  but moved with his family to Detroit, Michigan, when he was ten years old. He worked for more than sixty years at the Detroit Free Press, publishing his first poem at the age of seventeen, then going on to become a reporter and columnist whose work was featured in hundreds of newspapers around the country. Edgar is said to have written some 11,000 poems during his lifetime, most of it sentimental, short, upbeat verse. Critics often derided his work, but America adored him. He was known as the "People's Poet," served as Michigan's poet laureate, hosted a long-running radio show and TV show, and published more than twenty books.

 

 


Post New Comment:
Kathleen Carlson:
Delightful rhyme. It takes all kinds of fathers to make a childhood memory.
Posted 06/14/2016 03:17 PM
barbsteff:
Perfect expression of a too-common type of know-it-all. Thoink of this when evaluating politicians.
Posted 06/14/2016 11:07 AM
ElizabethP:
Wonderful. :-)
Posted 06/14/2016 09:47 AM
cork:
I was born in Detroit and exposed early to Edgar's poetry. My college professors frowned when I said he was my favorite.
Posted 06/14/2016 09:02 AM
rhonasheridan:
Oh David!! Marvellous poem. Loved every word !
Posted 06/14/2016 08:47 AM
blueskies:
First visit to this poem. Found the perfect VP for Hilary > Edgar Guest!...but look to ma for action! Much delight in these verses. Thanks for the good pick, Jayne.
Posted 06/14/2016 07:49 AM
David Lloyd-Jones:
A nasty, cynical piece of work, a sad attempt at a ver-ree cheap laugh. Ugh! -dlj.
Posted 06/14/2016 02:48 AM
Ross Kightly:
I, on the other hand, used to be able to cook a mean omelette, put up shelves straight, wash dishes sparkling clean, take down a door, shave off its lower edge on account of new carpet and re-hang it so it swung just right. I used to be able to balance the arrangement of pictures on the wall, build a sand pit frame just as sound as a raised garden bed. I used to but then I started to make too much mess and botch things and so they make me take it a bit easier now.
Posted 06/14/2016 02:25 AM


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