35+ Short Poems for a Loving Uncle


Do you have a loving uncle who brings joy to your life? That’s a wonderful thing. 

Celebrate this unique relationship by reading a few poems about uncles. You might have the sad task of finding a funeral poem to read at your uncle’s memorial service. Or perhaps you are searching for a heartfelt poem to share with your uncle on his birthday. Regardless of your reason for searching for a poem, this list has you covered. 

Jump ahead to these sections:

Please note that some of these poems are not specifically about uncles. Rather they are about a male figure and their role in your life. 

Poems for an Uncle’s Funeral or Memorial Service

Were you assigned the task of writing a eulogy for your uncle? Here are some verses you may want to consider sharing in your speech or as a part of the funeral notice.

As lovely as it is to find the perfect poem for a situation, don’t forget about honesty. Make sure you take this chance to speak from the heart. Tell the people attending the service why your uncle was so special. 

1. “Farewell” by Anne Bronte

This poem, by one of the Bronte sisters, speaks about how a person is never really gone after they die. If you carry your uncle’s memory in your heart and mind, then there is no need to say “farewell” to him.

2. “Funeral Blues” by W.H. Auden

This English poet describes how you may feel when you lose someone too soon. You might feel as if everything and everyone around you should be in mourning. You wonder how planes can still fly in the sky, and people can still laugh when your loved one is gone.

3. “If . . .” by Rudyard Kipling

This poem’s last line implies that the speaker is a father and that he is speaking to his son. Despite that, the message of this poem is a good one to share. Consider it for the memorial service of an uncle who lived his life with integrity. 

4. “But Not Forgotten” by Dorothy Parker

The speaker in this poem is the person who is leaving. Even though he is gone, he guesses that the person left behind will “remember all the tremulous things I said.” Although this poem is written from a unique perspective, its message will ring true for many.

5. “Epitaph on a Friend” by Robert Burns

Did you have a close relationship with your uncle? Maybe you thought of him as a friend? Here is a beautifully written poem about someone who was a “guide of youth.” The poem ends with the two lines: “If there’s another world, he lives in bliss; If there is none, he made the best of this.”

6. “The Apple Tree” by Dorothy Parker

Do you feel a great deal of weight from the loss of your uncle? The poem, “The Apple Tree” may help you describe your grief.

7. “See it Through” by Edgar Albert Guest

The speaker of this poem seems familiar. Almost as if it were an uncle offering advice on living a good life to his family. If your uncle was always offering you good advice, consider sharing this poem at his funeral.

8. “O, Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman wrote this poem to honor Abraham Lincoln. You might have looked up to your uncle. Perhaps he was an important leader in your life. Or maybe he inspired you with the way he lived his life.

A popular poem, it was also recited by Robin Williams in the movie “Dead Poets Society.” Those listening to your eulogy may recognize the words. They’ll understand that this is a poem about losing someone you highly respected. 

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Poems for an Uncle’s Birthday

The previous poems were chosen to be shared at a memorial service or funeral. If your uncle is celebrating his birthday, you might want to choose a poem with a slightly different tone. 

These selections are a lot more lighthearted in tone. But you should still consider your audience when deciding what to share. You’ll want to pick something appropriate for your uncle but also your guests. Luckily, this list has something for everyone. 

9. “Youth and Age” by Samuel Coleridge

Is your uncle young at heart? If you think so, this may be a poem to share with your uncle. You could also consider it if he enjoys the work of 18th-century poets and philosophers.

10. “Irreplaceable” by Rupi Kaur

This poem begins “The universe took its time for you.” If your uncle is genuinely one-of-a-kind, tell him. Don’t hold back expressing these sorts of important sentiments to the ones you love. 

11. “Birthdays” by Robert William Service

Service wrote this poem when he was an old man. In it, he discusses how you should always live like it is your birthday. Service says that on birthdays, he is the most thankful and joyful. But he also reminds you that every day should be celebrated. 

Does your uncle live each day as if it were his birthday? Share this poem with him and tell him why it made you think of him.

12. “Birthday” by Robert William Service

No, we didn’t make a typo. Robert William Service wrote more than one poem about his birthday. Your uncle may like this one as well.

This poem celebrates growing older. Even though the speaker is 75, he admits to enjoying women, wit, and wine (and golf). If your uncle lives life to the fullest, this is the poem for him.

13. “The Old Codger’s Lament” by Carl Rakosi

Does your uncle celebrate being an “old codger?” Does he like to grumble and gripe? Does he claim that “nobody listens to him?” 

You could lovingly share “The Old Codger’s Lament” with your uncle. Only do so if he has a great sense of humor.

14. “The Four Ages of Man” by Anne Bradstreet

Did you know that one of the earliest published poets in the American colonies was a woman? Anne Bradstreet wrote “The Four Ages of Man” in 1650, and its message still rings true today. Share this with an uncle who offers the wisdom that comes with age.

15. “Poem on His Birthday” by Dylan Thomas

This poem is for an extraordinary type of uncle. Maybe your uncle is philosophical and enjoys reflecting on his life. While this is not your typical “birthdays are great” poem, it would be suitable for some uncles.

16. “Uncle Ananias” by Edwin Arlington Robinson

If you happen to have an uncle named “Ananias,” then we have the perfect poem for you! This poem, written by a Harvard-educated poet, celebrates the life of a wonderful uncle. If your uncle has a different name, you may consider renaming the poem. We won’t tell Edwin Arlington Robinson if you don’t. 

Poems to Remind You of Your Uncle’s Love and Spirit

Do you admire your uncle’s spirit? Why not celebrate it? Here are some verses about loving people. 

17. “Uncle Bill” by Andrew Barton Patterson

Perhaps your spirited uncle is known for raising a ruckus. This is a poem that celebrates that particular type of man. The speaker in this poem talks about how his Uncle Bill is in jail for stealing wood. Does that remind you of your favorite uncle?

18. “My Great Great Etc. Uncle Patrick Henry” by James Tate

This poem is on the list because it is laugh-out-loud funny. In it, the speaker complains about how his family has not accomplished anything of note. Instead, they are known for the “paint by numbers the most absurd and disgusting scenes of plastic squalor and human degradation.” When the speaker complains to his mother, her only answer is that he needs to remember his “great great etc. Uncle Patrick Henry.”

You could share this with an uncle who is continually reminding you of your family’s contributions to the world. 

» MORE: Everyone's life is worth celebrating. These tools keep their memory close.

Poems About an Uncle From a Niece

Finding poems written specifically about an uncle from a niece is tricky. After all, unless the relationship is labeled in the title or dedication, it is difficult to tell who inspired a poem.

Here are some poems that could be from a niece to her uncle. Some would be appropriate for a funeral, and others are simply about this special relationship.

19. “Broken Chain” by Ron Tranmer

This poem would be appropriate to share at an uncle’s funeral. The final lines speak of meeting an uncle in Heaven someday. It reads, “The family chain is broken now and nothing seems the same. But as God takes us one by one the chain will link again.”

20. “As We Look Back” by Clare Jones

This poem questions whether or not we fully appreciate the people who play important roles in our lives. Even though it is not explicitly written for an uncle, it would be suitable for an uncle’s funeral program or funeral. The last few lines read, 

“If we have forgotten to show our
Gratitude enough for all the things you did,
We’re thanking you now.
And we are hoping you knew all along,
How much you meant to us.”

21. “To My Uncle” by Georgia Harkness

We love this poem by Georgia Harkness. At first glance, you may think this is a tribute to a giant pine. However, when you peel back the layers of this poem, you’ll understand that it could also be about those giants in our lives who provided protection and joy to passersby – perhaps like an uncle. 

22. “Our Uncle” by Unknown

This poem includes this famous saying that you might see on gravestones and memory book covers.

“If tears could build a stairway,
and memories could make a lane,
we would walk right up to heaven,
and bring you home again.”

Poems About an Uncle From a Nephew

Do you have a favorite uncle? Here are some poems written about this unique relationship. 

23. “Uncle” by Unknown

We know that many of these poems are titled “Uncle,” and most of these verses are published without giving credit to the author. Nevertheless, this short poem is sweet in its simplicity.

It ends, “He might act like my father. He might seem like my brother. But one thing’s for sure – he’s really my friend.”

24. “He Is Gone” by David Harkins

We love the message of this funeral poem for an uncle or any other important man in your life. It begins, “You can shed tears that he is gone. Or you can smile because he lived.”

25. “Last Journey” by Timothy Coote

There are a lot of funeral poems that use imagery of the sea to describe death’s journey. This poem, however, describes death as a train ride. The speaker of the poem is the person going on the journey. One stanza reads, 

“Many friends I know are waiting
Who took an earlier train
To greet and reassure me
That nothing has really changed.”

26. “Not How Did He Die, But How Did He Live?” by Unknown

When a person dies, it’s normal to ask, “What happened?” After all, we are all going to die someday, and everyone seems to have an opinion on the best way to go. 

In this poem, the speaker encourages us to focus on the more important aspects of the deceased’s life. Instead of wondering how the person died, we should ask, “Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer, To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?”

27. “Remember” by Christina Rosetti

Christina Rosetti wrote several poems that are often used in funeral services. In this poem, the speaker is deceased and wishes “you should forget and smile/Than that you should remember and be sad.”

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Poems About Uncles to Share on Father’s Day

Sometimes uncles act as surrogate fathers. Here are a few poems to share with an uncle who stepped up at an important time in your life. 

28. “Happy Father’s Day to a Dear Uncle” by William Byrd

Even though this is rather a lengthy poem, one line sticks out to us. The line: “Yours is the quiet sanity I count on.”

If you could depend on your uncle to provide a sane voice in a sea of confusion, consider sending this to him on Father’s Day.

29. “Thanks to My Uncle” by Crystal S. Johnson

It’s always nice to highlight the work of an amateur poet who self publishes their heartfelt pieces. This poem is written from the perspective of someone who appreciates their uncle. It begins, 

“Mother’s brother
Took me in as his daughter
Wiped the tears from my face
Father took off, so he filled his place.”

30. “A Good Father” by Julie Hiebert

Even though there’s no indication that the father in this poem is the child’s uncle, this is still a lovely piece to share with a father figure on his special day in June. 

While a lot of Father’s Day poetry describes the positive attributes of a dad, we like that this one states that sometimes dads aren’t perfect. 

“Now my father, like many fathers,
Are not at all perfect.
They had bad days like us all,
But they do their best to check it.”

31. “Uncle” by Unknown

One poem we found is an acrostic, which means that integral words of each line spell out a word. In this poem, the uncle is described as unique, natural, caring, laughter, and endearing. 

32. “For My Uncle” by Unknown

This poem begins, “I feel such a special closeness to you. I always have. I guess it’s because from the beginning you’ve been there for me.”

Poems About Missing an Uncle

Are you looking for a poem to post on the anniversary of your uncle’s death? Perhaps you are feeling melancholy and wish to reflect on the life of a special uncle. Here are some poetry ideas.

33. “I Miss You Always, Uncle” by Unknown

There are quite a few memes online designed to be easily shared on the anniversary of a person’s death. This poem comes from such an image. It begins, “My heart has been left broken since the day you had to go. And the memories I treasure dearly are in the tears that still flow.”

34. “Song for the Death of My Uncle in Illinois” by Richard Eberhart

We aren’t going to pretend we understand everything going on in this short poem, but this poem begins: “He is such perfection as the world dreamed of. But the earth receives him, and the worms begin to choir . . .”

This poem may not be for everyone, but it does sing the praises of an uncle.

35. “When Tomorrow Starts Without Me” by David M. Romano

This poem isn’t specifically about an uncle, but it is written from the perspective of a person who died and is welcomed by God in Heaven.

This often-used poem ends, “So when tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we’re far apart. For every time you think of me, I’m right there in your heart.”

36. “An Uncle Just Like You” by Unknown

Do you miss your uncle because he contributed a lot to your life? This poem celebrates an uncle that dedicated a lot of his life to helping his nieces and nephews. 

37. “He’s in the Sun, the Wind, the Rain” by Christy Ann Martine

If you feel connected to your loved one who passed when you spend time in nature, here’s a poem you might enjoy. This theme is prevalent in many death poems. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you have found a few inspiring verses to share about the life of your beloved uncle. Or even to share with your uncle himself. 

If you are lucky enough to have an amazing uncle, tell him how you feel. Sometimes people have a difficult time expressing emotions face to face. If this describes you, consider writing a letter to your uncle, telling him how much he means to you. Or share one of these poems with him. Even if you don’t read it aloud, the message will be received loud and clear. 


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