You may have heard parable poems or come across a poem that seems gibberish to you. If yes, what can you bring out from the experience?

Parable poems are usually difficult to interpret and understand from the ordinary meaning of the lines or words contained in them.

Usually, when we go through poems, we realize some words are just above our comprehension and we feel like the poet might not know what he is penning down. However, before you conclude in this manner, you have to first find out the kind of poem you are looking at.

Because “You never can tell if it is a parable poem

Now, you are wondering what is a parable poem and where can you find one. Relax; we will answer all your questions in the subsequent sections.

What Is A Parable Poem?

A parable poem is a type of poem that is usually difficult to understand from the ordinary meaning of the lines or words contained in it. These kinds of poems are very common in ancient times when poets try to pass a message without focusing directly on the intended audience.

Parable poems are not very common nowadays due to their complicated nature as they involve the use of high-level language and figurative expression. Nevertheless, the style of writing is prominent in the holy books; that is, the Holy Quran, the Holy Bible, and some other books.

Due to this, believers are expected to have attained a specific level of knowledge to correctly interpret these Holy books.

Examples of Famous Parable Poems 

Parable Of The Prodigal Son In The Bible

This parable poem or a parable story is one of the most popular parable pieces and was told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke in the bible. The story entails the journey of a prodigal son who lavishes his share of his father’s inheritance and suffered while working for a pig farmer. He later realizes his mistakes and returned home to request his father’s forgiveness.

Parable Of Immortality

Before we present this poem, let’s quickly address a popular question on the “parable of immortality”. The question is, “Who wrote, “Gone from my sight, Beecher or Van Dyke”?

The Parable of Immortality is a poem written by Reverend Luther F. Beecher and is also known as “Gone from my sight” or “What is Dying”. However, many accredit the work to Henry Van Dyke whose name appeared as the author in a redistributed work some years back.

Having clarified that here is the poem:

A Parable Of Immortality By Rev. Luther F. Beecher (Henry Van Dyke)

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
And starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch until at last she hangs
like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says,
‘ There she goes! ‘

Gone where?

Gone from my sight…that is all

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of destination.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment
when someone at my side says,
‘ There she goes! ‘
there are other eyes watching her coming…
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout…

‘ Here she comes! ‘
And that is dying.

The Parable Of The Old Man And The Young

This is an allusion to the biblical story of Abraham where God instructed him to offer his only son, Isaac as a sacrifice. The old man (Abraham) and the young (Isaac) obeyed God and were ready to follow his commandment before a lamb was sent to replace Isaac. In contrast to Abraham in the bible, the old man in this parable poem ended up slaying his son.

A deeper analysis of the parable of the old man and the young revealed that Wilfred Owen (the author) actually used the poem to discuss the cause of World War 1, that is, pride and disobedience.

The poem goes thus:

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spoke and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,

But where is the lamb for this burnt offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And built parapets and trenches there,
And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.

When lo! an Angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son
And half the seed of Europe, one by one

Parables To The Wise By Ramon Yusuf

This poem serves as a warning to those who care to listen about the insignificance of life and the tribulation of humans. It also touches on the importance of sharing problems and peace of mind.

Parables To The Wise By Ramon Yusuf

Hunger and no bread

Makes the eyes red

Words unsaid

Overwhelm the head

A pencil without lead

Makes song unread

Roses unbred

Creates life without a bed

A problem shared

Cannot be paired

A man feared

Cannot be dared

Humans are weird

Some are nerds

Many remain unheard

Till they are dead

Tears are shed

When the stomach is unfed

Staying stead

Might require bread

Words have been said

Farewell to the dead

Parable to the undead

Undead willing to be led

Importance Of Parable Poems

Parable poems send significant messages to the listeners or readers since the theme of such poems usually discusses vital aspects of human life. Some of the aspects the theme may talk about include the following:

  • Death (Parable of Immortality)
  • Modesty (The Prodigal Son)
  • Obedience (The Parable Of The Old Man And The Young)
  • Advice (Parable To The Wise)
  • Pride (The Parable Of The Old Man And The Young)


Parable poems are really fascinating to read as they trigger a critical part of us and make us ponder about our existence. However, it is quite unfortunate many people do not always grab the message of the poem instantly. Hence, you may need to read a poem about a parable multiple times to fully understand it.

1. What is a parable poem?

A parable poem is a type of poem that is usually difficult to understand from the ordinary meaning of the lines or words contained in it. This kind of poem is very common in ancient times when poets try to pass a message without focusing directly on the intended audience.

2. What is an example of a parable?

There are tons of parable poems that have been written by reputable poets, however, some famous examples include the prodigal son, the old man and the young, Parable of Immortality, Parable to the Wise, and so on.

3. What are the 3 types of parable poems?

The types of parable poems can be classified according to the theme of the poem. Therefore, we can have informative parable poems, entertaining parable poems, parable poems of advice (warning), and so on.

4. What is a parable story example?

A very good example of a parable story is the story of the prodigal son in the bible. It discusses the importance of modesty and has remain

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