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What Father Knows -- Edgar Guest

(Poem #922) What Father Knows
 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 its 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.
-- Edgar Guest
A delightfully funny poem - Guest takes a simple idea and expands upon it
cleverly and with a nice sense of verse. The poem is, however, spoilt
slightly by the penultimate verse, which not only contains the awkward
phrase "as fast as I can write it", but, in its last line, ruins the impact
of the final verse - IMO "ma" should have been left out until the very end,
to be produced with a flourish and provide a conclusion rendered funnier by
its unexpectedness. Still, overall a poem I was glad to discover.


We've run two of Guest's poems on Minstrels:
  poem #496 (with biography)
  poem #733

My semiregular Poets' Corner plug:


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