Father

By Edgar Albert Guest 1881–1959
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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Poet Edgar Albert Guest 1881–1959

Subjects Family & Ancestors, Living, Activities, Home Life, Relationships, Jobs & Working, Parenthood

Holidays Father's Day

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Edgar Albert Guest

Biography

Edgar Guest began his career at the Detroit Free Press in 1895, where he first worked as a copyboy. He was soon promoted to police writer and later to exchange editor, and in 1904 he began writing verse for the Free Press under the heading "Chaff." Those columns evolved into an immensely popular daily feature entitled "Breakfast Table Chat," which, at the height of its popularity, was syndicated in about three hundred other . . .

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SUBJECT Family & Ancestors, Living, Activities, Home Life, Relationships, Jobs & Working, Parenthood

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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