Famous Family Poem

The speaker sees his father as a mighty man when it comes to endeavors outside the house, but when it comes to getting things fixed at home, it’s better left to someone else. This poem has a humorous tone and uses irony that the father can do tough things and solve the big problems of the world, but he is unable to mend a chair. This poem is made up of octaves (stanzas that consist of eight lines each).

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Famous Poem


Edgar A. Guest By more Edgar A. Guest

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.


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