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A Boy and His Dad

This poem, by Edgar A. Guest, is an inspirational poem that tells a story about a boy and his dad as they experience the joys of a fishing trip. But the poem reflects more than a mere fishing trip; it reflects the growing kinship, joy, teaching, and wisdom between father and son. Too often, in these modern times, the development of closeness, of bond, of wisdom shared, of value taught, and of simple pleasures away from the hustle and bustle of modern life filled with the rapidly growing technological dominance are all but forgotten. It is more assuredly the bonds of father and son that are part of simple life's pleasures that teach the future father of what it means to share fatherly characteristics that serve to foreshadow fatherly companionship, friendship and love in a future generation.


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A Boy and His Dad
by Edgar A. Guest


A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
There is a glorious fellowship!
Father and son and the open sky
And the white clouds lazily drifting by,
And the laughing stream as it runs along
With the clicking reel like a martial song,
And the father teaching the youngster gay
How to land a fish in the sportsman's way.

I fancy I hear them talking there
In an open boat, and the speech is fair.
And the boy is learning the ways of men
From the finest man in his youthful ken.
Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare
With the gentle father who's with him there.
And the greatest mind of the human race
Not for one minute could take his place.

Which is happier, man or boy?
The soul of the father is steeped in joy,
For he's finding out, to his heart's delight,
That his son is fit for the future fight.
He is learning the glorious depths of him,
And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim;
And he shall discover, when night comes on,
How close he has grown to his little son.

A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—
Builders of life's companionship!
Oh, I envy them, as I see them there
Under the sky in the open air,
For out of the old, old long-ago
Come the summer days that I used to know,
When I learned life's truths from my father's lips
As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.


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Quotes from the poem, A Boy And His Dad:

"A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip — There is a glorious fellowship!"
Edgar A. Guest
What can be said of the experience of shared time between father and son? Is this not a time devoted in love that serves to be cherished in memories well etched in a youngster's mind? Yes, it is, and these are good memories that last a lifetime. Is it not a fellowship that transcends gifts of toys or the latest techie device? Yes, it is. Love in fellowship is not something that can be bought; it is an activity, an action, and time carved out of busy lives that means much more than the brightest or most expensive toy. Why is this? It is because a toy cannot contain love in and of itself because it is not a living expression of care, of devoted time or of behavior selflessly given to a son.

"I fancy I hear them talking there in an open boat, and the speech is fair. And the boy is learning the ways of men from the finest man in his youthful ken."
Edgar A. Guest
All computer games cannot begin to even compare to the teaching of the dominant male of the household to a son. A father is a figure that simply does not exist in a vacuum of teaching. A father models behavior seen and mimicked by a son despite the fact that many might believe that modeling behavior only occurs when a father is directly involved with a son through active speech or directed behavior.  The absence of attention can speak louder than any words; the busyness of a father away from a son, even within the confines of a home, speaks volumes about the lack of direct interaction between father and son. It can be argued that such father behavior suggests that a son should be seen and not heard (this can be similar  said of all children); that a son is only worth a display of fatherly attention when it serves a father's purpose and does not involve the son's need for affection, attention or love. Such lack of intimacy can be said to lead to a child acting out in order to achieve some level of attention even if only a behavior exacted by the father in the form of punishment. Love changes everything - it changes how we value our children; it changes how we value others, and it changes how we are valued as well.

"A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip — Builders of life's companionship!"
Edgar A. Guest
How easy it is to invest one's love and time in our children - in the case of this poem, it is about the affection and time involving a son. I often remember times of my youth when more simple times prevailed that memories of my father stand out. These were not times that required countless hours of directed devotion given that there were three other brothers and sisters. It was simply that a shared activity like throwing a football back and forth or a little time spent at a local fishing hole were times that were carved out of my father's busy family and work schedule that focused on something we did together. There were also times when we sat together and watched a football game each commenting on the mistakes or the brilliance of a play. Focused, dedicated and the simple expression of interest in what a son is doing means more than any monetary gift. It is a time that can never be replaced; memories that never fade; and behaviors that inspire well into the future.



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