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You Are Old Father William

Rating: 3.9

"You are old, father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head --
Do you think, at your age, it is right?

"In my youth," father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
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Amanda Singleton 02 October 2006

This poem is so cute! I love it!

12 5 Reply
John Richter 12 March 2015

Feisty old buggar! I'd say Mr. Carroll was in a rather whimsical mood when he wrote this. I'm sure it was written to get some chuckles from children... I particularly enjoyed how the old man came to strengthen his jaw. If this were true then I should be able to crack walnuts with my own!

5 5 Reply
Godfrey Morris 12 March 2015

Beautiful poem though I was expecting a better ending. Some wise message perhaps. Love it though.

3 6 Reply
Ramesh T A 12 March 2015

Lewis Carroll noted for his novel, Alice in the Wonderland meant for children mostly show his valour as comic story writer in this poem also by a small conversation between father and son!

3 4 Reply
john p barach 30 September 2019

it's wondrously balanced on the edge of reality, but never falls off either side! i love it

3 2 Reply
Ellen LaPierre 10 September 2019

the way I heard it was: You are old, Father William, and your teeth are beginning to freeze. Your favorite daughter has wheels in her head and the chickens are pecking your knees.

2 3 Reply
Aaron Marchant 09 October 2018

The poem of which this is a parody is 'The Old Man's Comforts and How He Gained Them' by Robert Southey. Carroll's parody version is recited in his 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (1865)

2 4 Reply
Lose Hunter 02 May 2018

Is this a parody of a poem by Wordsworth?

1 5 Reply
billp 21 December 2017

pity about the spelling mistakes

3 5 Reply