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This mini anthology is a wonderful introduction to the countless poems written about fathers and fatherhood. Father William is present, of course, a feisty figure who reminds us that age is entitled to have the last word.


There’s affection and humour, alongside tender remembrance. In one poem a father carries his young daughter on his shoulders after a trip to the pantomime and realises how precious such moments are:


“And I clutch you tightly for fear you blow away
For fear you grow up to soon ….

… And sensing this, I hold you tighter still.”

from ‘Cinders’ by Roger McGough


Just as important are the everyday happenings that become special with hindsight: a family meal at which a dad contends with a hot potato, or the nightly ritual of an ageing father who insists on turning off the water before he goes to bed in case a pipe bursts while he’s asleep.


Poems by Coral Bracho, Lewis Carroll, Louise Glück, Tony Harrison, Tariq Latif, Joanne Limburg, Roger McGough, Shazea Quraishi, Michael Rosen and Siriol Troup.

Ten Poems About Fathers

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