Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0016 Fathers, Sons, And Families - Poem by Michael Shepherd

and next to the world of heavenly gods,
the world of ancestors…

when ageing Indian fathers heard the call
that spoke some other world, they called their son
and put to him three propositions, to which
he might then make three promises:

‘You are all things - you are God in everything ' –
this the first, to call the open mind
to gain the widest knowledge of all things;

‘You are sacrifice, surrender – you are universal law,
tradition, responsibility…’: this the second; then

‘You are the world – you are humanity itself—
find this and live by it..’

the father’s mind now freed; and for the son,
continuity; and constancy; the good passed on;
all that fathers seek, for family and son;
and so the family lives on, in sweet redemption
of its generations, in its hopes, and in its love.

* * *

And so, I like to think, poets speak for them today
in rituals of poetry; holding in cupped hands
against the cold night winds of chance and change
the lights that pass from hand to hand,
from mouth to mouth, from ear to ear,
saying, remember, you are all things
in all your shining consciousness;
you speak of all good things and pass them on
in all your glorious languages;
you are the world, yourself,
you are humanity


Comments about 0016 Fathers, Sons, And Families by Michael Shepherd

  • (11/7/2006 7:43:00 AM)

    ; ¬) (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/7/2006 7:36:00 AM)

    OK call it corporate modesty, you cynic...dammit, that's what poets do, I say...yeah, you too, and with humour! (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/7/2006 6:19:00 AM)

    'And so, I like to think, poets ', wishful thinking here, perhaps?
    When called to the Poet's Bar, I'm afraid, the vetting policy is somewhat lax.
    Nice sentiment, all the same.
    Danny
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 3 comments »



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, November 7, 2006

Poem Edited: Friday, November 5, 2010


Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]