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As we count down to the teen poetry slam at Petit, we wanted to introduce you to more of the genre. This poem is called “To the Boys who May One Day Date My Daughter.”
This poem begins with a father addressing the boys who might date his daughter, and he immediately launches into threats and protectiveness, talking about guns and crawlspaces. The description of all his threats are comical, the tone a bit of a satire on being protective.
Somewhere around half way, the tone switches. He tells the hypothetical date that his daughter will be taught love and so long as he treats her well, they would never have any problem, that he would be ready even for death knowing she was safe with someone else who loved her. At this point, the threats fade away almost entirely, and the poem becomes much more about how his daughter will be educated and raised on love and will make her own decisions, and how good can come from them.
Then the poem flashes back to its satirical beginnings with the last couplet.
“To the girls who may one day date my daughter
My wife is a better shot than I am.”
Here he implies that, should his daughter date girls, all of the above still applies (his feelings of protectiveness, and his feelings that he knows his daughter will find someone who loves her and that if she treats her right, all is well), but leaves the responsibility of intimidating future girlfriends to his wife. A humorous way to express that he’s prepared for his daughter to date either boys or girls.
What do you think about this poem?