(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.
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. Links: We've run two of Guest's poems on Minstrels: poem #496 (with biography) poem #733 My semiregular Poets' Corner plug: http://www.poets-corner.org/ -martin