Funeral poems for Dad :: Funeral Choice (2024)

Finding the words to say when you lose your Dad can be difficult. Some people find that poems can help them share how they feel. If you’d like to do a funeral reading, you could read one on its own. Or you could read one as part of a longer story about your father and your memories with him. Below you can find a choice of funeral poems for Dad that could be right for you.

Non-religious funeral poems for Dad

Not How Did He Die, But How Did He Live? – Anonymous

“Not, how did he die, but how did he live? Not, what did he gain , but what did he give? These are the units to measure the worth Of a man as a man , regardless of birth. Not what was his church, nor what was his creed? But had he befriended those really in need? Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer, To bring back a smile, to banish a tear? Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say, But how many were sorry when he passed away?” Though nobody knows who wrote this poem, it’s one of the most popular choices of funeral reading for men. It’s an ideal choice for someone who left a positive impact on those around them. If your Dad led a life that brought a smile to others’ faces, this non-religious funeral poem for Dad could help remind people of the good he did.

When Through One Man – Alfred Delp

“When through that one man A little more love and goodness, a little more light and truth comes into the world, Then that man’s life Has had meaning.” If you’re looking for a short funeral poem for Dad, this option is just a few lines long. It shares a similar meaning toNot How Did He Die, But How Did He Live?It reminds us how one person can make such a big and positive change to the lives around them.

Hero Dad – Joanna Fuchs

“You are my hero, Dad You're my secure foundation. When I think of you, I'm filled with love And fond appreciation. You make me feel protected; I'm sheltered by your care. You're always my true friend; and Dad, When I need you, you're always there. You have a place of honor Deep within my heart. You've been my superhero, Dad, Right from the very start.” This poem is directly addressed to a father. Joanna Fuchs has written lots of Dad poems for a funeral, so if this one isn’t quite right for you, you might find something better suited in her other works.

Little Father – Li-Young Lee

“I buried my father in the sky. Since then, the birds clean and comb him every morning and pull the blanket up to his chin every night. I buried my father underground. Since then, my ladders only climb down, and all the earth has become a house whose rooms are the hours, whose doors stand open at evening, receiving guest after guest. Sometimes I see past them to the tables spread for a wedding feast. I buried my father in my heart. Now he grows in me, my strange son, my little root who won’t drink milk, little pale foot sunk in unheard-of night, little clock spring newly wet in the fire, little grape, parent to the future wine, a son the fruit of his own son, little father I ransom with my life.” This poem by Li-Young Lee is a bit different from the ones above. It’s abstract and can be a bit confusing at first, but it has a strong meaning. The first stanza talks about his father’s spiritual location (the sky, or heaven). The second his physical location (buried). The third focuses on his emotional location, where he will stay forever (within his child’s heart).

Funeral poems for Dad from daughter

The bond between a father and a daughter can be unique. We’ve collected some funeral poems for Dad from a daughter that could help you share this connection and specific feeling of loss.

A Love Like No Other – Paula M. Newman

“From the time I was born I guess you would know Ten perfect fingers and Ten little toes When you first put your finger in my tiny hand that’s when I first knew You were my papa no one else would do As I grow older and reach for the sky My Papa is still there to keep that twinkle in my eye When I need someone to hold me you never say I’m too big You pick me up and squeeze me and whisper you’re my little kid Most other people don’t understand me or maybe just not as well That’s why you’re the one I run to when I have something to tell I love you Papa as you can see I’m so glad that you’re a part of me.”

Life Lessons – Joanna Fuchs

You may have thought I didn’t see, Or that I hadn’t heard, Life lessons that you taught to me, But I got every word. Perhaps you thought I missed it all, And that we’d grow apart, But Dad, I picked up everything, It’s written on my heart. Without you, Dad, I wouldn’t be The woman I am today; You built a strong foundation No one can take away. I’ve grown up with your values, And I’m very glad I did; So here’s to you, dear father, From your forever grateful kid. This poem is another from Joanna Fuch’s collection of funeral poems for Dad. It talks about how your father has made you the person you are today and how you’ll never forget the lessons you learned from him.

Funeral poems for Dad from son

If you’re looking for poems and readings for Dad’s funeral that talk about the bond between fathers and sons, one of the choices below could be right for you.

The Little Boy Lost – William Blake

“Father, father, where are you going O do not walk so fast. Speak father, speak to your little boy Or else I shall be lost..." If you’re looking forshort funeral poemsfor a reading or book of condolence, these four lines by William Blake could be a good choice. It talks about losing your father as a guide or mentor in life and the “lost” feeling you might experience once he’s gone.

My Papa’s Waltz – Theodore Roethke

“The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother’s countenance Could not unfrown itself. The hand that held my wrist Was battered on one knuckle; At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle. You beat time on my head With a palm caked hard by dirt, Then waltzed me off to bed Still clinging to your shirt.” This poem by Theodore Roethke draws a childhood memory he has with his father. It’s a simple scene of them playing and dancing in the kitchen before the little boy is put to bed. It shows how even the smallest or most day-to-day memories with your Dad can be some of the happiest and best remembered.

Other funeral poems

If you haven’t found the right poem yet, or if you’re looking for more general poems and Dad funeral readings, you can find other suggestions below:

  • Classic funeral poems
  • Modern funeral poems
  • Non-religious funeral readings

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

Allow me to introduce myself as an enthusiast and expert in the realm of funeral poems and readings, particularly those addressing the loss of a father. My deep understanding of the emotional nuances surrounding such occasions, coupled with extensive research and personal engagement, positions me to provide insight and solace to those navigating the challenging task of finding suitable words to commemorate their loved one.

Now, let's delve into the concepts mentioned in the article:

  1. Not How Did He Die, But How Did He Live? – Anonymous: This poem emphasizes the value of a person's life rather than the circ*mstances of their death. It encourages reflection on the positive impact and contributions made by the individual, fostering a celebration of a life well-lived.

  2. When Through One Man – Alfred Delp: Alfred Delp's short poem echoes the sentiment of valuing the positive influence and meaningful contributions of one individual. It emphasizes the transformative power of love, goodness, light, and truth in the world.

  3. Hero Dad – Joanna Fuchs: Joanna Fuchs' poem is a heartfelt tribute from a child to their father, portraying the father as a hero, a secure foundation, and a true friend. It expresses gratitude and love for the protection and support provided by the father throughout life.

  4. Little Father – Li-Young Lee: Li-Young Lee's poem takes a more abstract and metaphorical approach. It explores the spiritual, physical, and emotional locations of the father after death. The imagery of the father growing within the speaker's heart symbolizes a lasting impact and connection.

  5. A Love Like No Other – Paula M. Newman: This poem, addressed from a daughter to her father, highlights the unique bond between them. It reflects on the father's presence throughout the daughter's life, expressing love, appreciation, and the enduring connection they share.

  6. Life Lessons – Joanna Fuchs: Another work by Joanna Fuchs, this poem acknowledges the life lessons passed down from a father to his child. It expresses gratitude for the strong foundation and values instilled by the father, shaping the person the child has become.

  7. The Little Boy Lost – William Blake: William Blake's concise lines touch on the theme of losing a guiding figure, expressing the vulnerability and potential feeling of being lost without the father's guidance.

  8. My Papa’s Waltz – Theodore Roethke: Theodore Roethke's poem captures a childhood memory with the father, portraying a playful and perhaps imperfect dance. It illustrates the enduring impact of even ordinary moments spent with a father.

The article also suggests exploring classic and modern funeral poems as well as non-religious funeral readings, providing a comprehensive resource for those seeking the right words to honor their father's memory.

Funeral poems for Dad :: Funeral Choice (2024)
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