What Are Some Poems About Families?

What Are Some Poems About Families?

Some poems about families include "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes, "Human Family" by Maya Angelou and "A Cradle Song" by William Blake. These and other poems by authors such as Dickinson, Merrin and Wordsworth communicate the various dynamics--good and bad--of family life.

"Mother to Son" is a short poem, and an interesting point is that Hughes--a man--wrote the poem from a mother's perspective. The poem's words create imagery of a struggle to climb metaphorical stairs, evidenced in lines such as, "I'se still climbin', And life for me ain't been no crystal stair."

Angelou's "Human Family" refers to the entirety of the human population as one family. She notes its diversity in appearance and behavior; however, despite the disparity, the narrator ends with, "We are more alike, my friends,than we are unalike."

Blake's "A Cradle Song" begins with the narrator's musings and admiration for his infant child's look of peace, happiness and innocence. He ends the poem by making a connection to the smile of the infant and the heavenly smile of God and all things holy.

Emily Dickinson writes eloquently about her love for both her sister and sister-in-law in "One Sister Have I in our House," revealing that families aren't always only related by blood ties. Jeredith Merrin details the difficulties that occur when a family's ties and relationships are disrupted by divorce in "Family Reunion." There are even poems about role reversal, such as William Wordsworth's poem "My Heart Leaps Up," which is about a child becoming the "father of the Man" as he ages into and through adulthood.