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:
- Poems for an Uncle’s Funeral or Memorial Service
- Poems for an Uncle’s Birthday
- Poems to Remind You of Your Uncle’s Love and Spirit
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.
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.
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.