Ernest Hemingway

(21 July 1899 - 2 July 1961 / Oak Park, Illinois)

Advice To A Son - Poem by Ernest Hemingway

Never trust a white man,
Never kill a Jew,
Never sign a contract,
Never rent a pew.
Don't enlist in armies;
Nor marry many wives;
Never write for magazines;
Never scratch your hives.
Always put paper on the seat,
Don't believe in wars,
Keep yourself both clean and neat,
Never marry whores.
Never pay a blackmailer,
Never go to law,
Never trust a publisher,
Or you'll sleep on straw.
All your friends will leave you
All your friends will die
So lead a clean and wholesome life
And join them in the sky.

Comments about Advice To A Son by Ernest Hemingway

  • (4/18/2016 11:44:00 PM)

    I’ve got it, but have one question

    A drop of color – white is lack,
    And blood improve by adding blue;
    And never ever fire back,
    If I have got a shot from Jew.

    And never write to internet,
    All deeply sink in global net;
    And I can sleep in prickly straw,
    If lie on smooth and lovely squaw.

    The moment comes, I need Advice,
    And You have mention “marry” twice!
    I had some, and my bride has too,
    So doubt that my number two,

    And force her promise - no more,
    Ask how many was before,
    So tell me reasons, starting score,
    When people name girl a whore.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (4/18/2016 11:05:00 PM)

    Never trust a publisher,
    Or you will sleep on straw
    This advice must be for poets etc.
    Lead a clean and wholesome life
    And join your friends in the sky
    Nice advice to humanity in general.
    (Report) Reply

  • Fog Runner (4/18/2016 10:59:00 PM)

    Never trust a publisher,
    Or you'll sleep on straw... HAHA
    (Report) Reply

  • Amiegbereta Edwin (4/18/2016 8:15:00 PM)

    I love this piece. Thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Amar Agarwala (4/18/2016 7:57:00 PM)

    This is wisdom in a few simple stanzas... worthy of any son. Superb piece of work by this classical great! (Report) Reply

  • Is It Poetry (4/18/2016 1:15:00 PM)

    Born on the same day and month as me,
    and his suicide was painless all could see.
    If he was just a little bit like me,
    I know he was, every thing I've ever done,
    I did like today was my last day on this earth.
    Rutting like a stag and drinking like a sailor,
    catching fish that over whelmed me, coming back
    to read a writer that I helped along this way.
    So I could join you in the sky to hear a trumpets low
    but distant sound.. iip
    (Report) Reply

  • Ahmed Gumaa Siddiek (4/18/2016 1:07:00 PM)

    A simple piece of advice. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (4/18/2016 12:17:00 PM)

    These pearls of wisdom are based on the poet's experience. So, he would obviously like his son to follow them in letter and spirit. Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (4/18/2016 11:10:00 AM)

    A nice piece of poetry. Enjoyed. (Report) Reply

  • Valentin Savin (4/18/2016 10:14:00 AM)

    A very good and helpful piece of advice. (Report) Reply

  • Alem Hailu G/kristos (4/18/2016 8:25:00 AM)

    Wisdom packed advice; Thank you for sharing! (Report) Reply

  • Soumita Sarkar (4/18/2016 8:10:00 AM)

    short and full of life lessons... (Report) Reply

  • Mohammad Skati (4/18/2016 7:34:00 AM)

    This poem showd the poet's real high morality....What a pretty poem! (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (4/18/2016 5:45:00 AM)

    Never pay a blackmailer! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (4/18/2016 5:36:00 AM)

    Judging by this poem, I am glad E. Himingway wrote prose, good prose too,
    and some memorable fiction. AM
    (Report) Reply

  • Sofia Kioroglou (4/18/2016 2:37:00 AM)

    Exquisite! The greatest advice ever! (Report) Reply

  • Tapan M. Saren (4/18/2016 12:07:00 AM)

    Good advice from a good father... (Report) Reply

  • Dutendra Chamling (2/28/2016 11:34:00 PM)

    It's poem for run but not to be a good son. This poem gives a chance to think about you and your family, relatives, and friends, it's good. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (2/28/2016 3:01:00 PM)

    Some say Hemingway wrote this to his son in an attempt to give him some insight and truth about the harsh realities of life. Maybe so. But I have read that his Mother was a controlling, stiff-necked, stuffy woman who tried to direct her son's choices even after he was a journalist over in Spain. I read this and see some good advice followed promptly by an embarrassing Motherly advice to use paper on the toilet so you don't pick up bugs and germs... I just can't picture Hemingway saying this to his son in between shooting charging elephants and lions....I can picture him advising his son to Never write for magazines based on his personal career experiences- - but Never scratch your hives? again that is what a Mother says often over and over again.... Looking at the entirety of this poem, I'd say some of the advice was Fatherly but I think he had a lot of bitterness towards the peck-peck-pecking advice of his Mother that underscored this piece. (Report) Reply

    Kim Barney (4/18/2016 11:45:00 AM)

    Susan, I think you have analyzed this perfectly.

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (2/28/2016 12:21:00 AM)

    Nice advice......................... (Report) Reply

Read all 23 comments »

# 293 poem on top 500 Poems

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

[Report Error]