The House That Jack Built, a Poem

Updated on January 25, 2019
Jodah profile image

John is a long-time poet, short fiction, and article writer. He studied a Writing for Profit course through ICS but loves story-telling.

The House That Jack Built
The House That Jack Built | Source

The House That Jack Built

It takes dedication to build a house,

To make it feel like a home,

And make it comfortable for your spouse,

Unless you live on your own.

But Jack always dreamed of a small farmhouse

With cattle, and crops he'd grown.


So, with bricks and mortar and lots of toil

He gave his time to his dream.

To realise his goal Jack remained loyal

His focus was clear it seemed.

His strict dedication, nothing could foil,

A house beside a clear stream.


Weeks hurried on and became months, then years,

Jack never strayed from his goal.

He'd get this house built through heartache and fears,

Even by selling his soul.

The last brick in place, he wiped away tears,

And raised a flag on a pole.


The welcome day came without a fanfare,

No whistles and bells were heard.

No one else he knew seemed to give a care,

A sad hard lesson he'd learned.

For Jack was alone, his joy was not shared,

His Love had flown like a bird.


To realise his dream Jack so hard fought

Was not important to all.

Love and attention is what his wife sought,

But he was blind to it all.

Our loved ones don't always have the same thoughts

Poor Jack was destined to fall.


Remember to ask your partner's advice

Before you make a life-choice.

To watch dreams collapse is not very nice,

So please don't ignore their voice.

Life is not simply a roll of the dice,

Why not agree and rejoice?

This poem was actually inspired by the following song by Australian country music artist Adam Harvey.

Questions & Answers

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 months ago from Queensland Australia

        I appreciate your visit and comment on my poem Elijah. I am not sure if I had heard the Aretha Franklin song by the same name, but will have to check it out.

      • The0NatureBoy profile image

        Elijah A Alexander Jr 

        8 months ago from Washington DC

        Reminds me of Aretha Franklin's song by the same name. I have never read "The House That Jack Built" to know, if that's a poem of the story no wonder the song said "remember the house", it was built for a lover who had flown the coop. Thanks for your rhyming version so well done, brother John.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Li-Jen it is funny how other writers here seem to often write about a common theme at the same time. Building dreams and seeing them come to fruition is what most of us want, but compromise is often required.

      • Li-Jen Hew profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        9 months ago

        Hey Jodah. Glad that you were able to share what it's like to realise dreams but the wife wanted love only. Building a house is a good metaphor for building dreams. It's interesting to see the wife's perspective in this one. Looks like the both of us share a common theme, cool! Hope you achieve your dreams too!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Haha so true Flourish, that's the moral of it. I'd rather buy than build any day of the week. Been there, done that.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        9 months ago from USA

        There’s a good moral here. Get buyin, find someone who already shares your interest, or be prepared to go it alone.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, that's it DreamOn. Have a common goal and work together, that's what my wife and I did when we built a house. You share the good and bad then and reduce the burden on each other.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for reading Jo, I am glad you enjoyed the story even though it had a sad ending.

      • DREAM ON profile image

        DREAM ON 

        9 months ago

        Your poem hit the nail right on the head. Happy wife happy life. If your goals begin to stray it is a good idea to meet half way. Then you both got part of what you wanted and more importantly you have each other. Then you can still work on the rest. Two sets of hands are better than one. They get the job done twice as fast.

      • jo miller profile image

        Jo Miller 

        9 months ago from Tennessee

        A sad but lovely story.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks again for reading another of my little endeavours in poetic story telling Shauna, it is always appreciated.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        9 months ago from Central Florida

        I guess if you have a huge (and costly) dream, you should be prepared to live it alone unless you consider others' needs and wants. Either that or find someone with similar goals.

        Another great message that was fun to read, John!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Dana, you described it perfectly. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      • Dana Tate profile image

        Dana Tate 

        9 months ago from LOS ANGELES

        So true. Many times we are so blinded by our needs we don't see that it's our dream and no one but ours. Time goes by fast and with the blink of an eye it can all change or, even worse be gone.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        That I should so true Venkat, communication is essential. Thanks for the kind comment.

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

        A very appealing message is imparted through your nice poem. The video also is quite matching to it. It's true that one should do any task keeping engagement with his dear ones.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hey Gabe, Glad you learned something from reading this. High Five!!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Rasma, glad you liked the poem and video.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Thank you Uncle John for your story I learned a lot from it.

        Gabe Dierker

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        9 months ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

        Enjoyed this most creative. Great choice of video.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Mary. Yes, how deflating it msust be to reach a long awaited goal only to have lost your spouse in the process. After all, most people’s wedding vows include “for better, or for worse.” Unfortunately some don’t take those words seriously.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        9 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        Thank you John for this wonderful poem. It's pathetic to reach your goal and not share it with someone you want to share it with. I realized that once you have said yes to share a life with someone, you do share each other's dreams, too.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Rinita, the ideal situation is when the other partner supports the one who is passionate about their dream and stands by them no matter what. It was inspired by the song but it does happen. I once read “if you really want to test how strong a marriage is build a house together.” Thanks for reading.

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        9 months ago

        Well written, John, but I don't know, isn't it better when the partner understands that the dream is important to the other person, and stand by them, than asking for attention? Well, I suppose this one is one of your 'real world' poems. Brilliant style as usual.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Tapaswini, thank you very much for reading this poem. No one is really right or wrong in this situation but they needed to communicate and compromise.

      • naturalfever profile image

        Tapaswini Bashoo 

        9 months ago from Washington DC

        This is my first time reading, listening to your poems. Its a touch balance and some chose one road to the other, who is right is question.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        You are welcome PoetikalyAnointed. Yes, unfortunately, it is a common scenario. Someone is so absorbed by their dream that they lose focus on everything and everyone else around them. Thanks for reading.

      • PoetikalyAnointed profile image

        PoetikalyAnointed 

        9 months ago from US

        Thanks John for this reminder!

        This is a major life-lessons for partners/spouses. You have to be on one-accord or this is likely to happen. There needs to be a healthy balance between achieving "your" dream versus your partner's/spouses needs/want.

        We see this play out in movies/songs/TV shows all the time.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        No, it wasn't Clive. It had a sad ending lol. Thanks for reading though.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Pamela, it is a two-way street. Both partners need to communicate and go out of their way to please the other. Then what can go wrong? Glad you enjoyed the song too.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Tell me about it, Alyssa. I built a house once and it was a very stressful time. I guarantee if I do anything renovations wise without asking my wife's opinion I will be starting all over again lol. Thanks for reading.

      • clivewilliams profile image

        Clive Williams 

        9 months ago from Jamaica

        A Nice tale.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        9 months ago from Sunny Florida

        This seems to be a clear message to men to listen to their wives if they want to be happy. I am happy to say my husband treats me very well and even spoils me a bit. I work to make him happy as well, and things seem to work out that way. I also liked the music.

      • Alyssa Nichol profile image

        Alyssa 

        9 months ago from Ohio

        It's not easy to build a house, that's for sure! Renovations are also a fun challenge. haha! Communication is key for any successful relationship, but that's often easier said than done. It's easy to fixate on doing something with the best of intentions and easier still to get lost in it all, forgetting to check-in, get input, or simply ask what's needed. Another great poem with a life lesson for us all.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Liz, I know Grand Designs very well. I used to enjoy watching it too. Thank you for the generous comment.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        9 months ago from UK

        At first I was reminded of a popular building project series in the UK, called 'Grand Designs'. I like to see how the builders triumph in the end. But then there was a skillful twist in the tale of your poem and the tone changed completely. This is a very well-written piece of poetry.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Haha Bill, yep I try to avoid that too. Thanks for reading.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Well, I hope there is a lesson in this poem for Gabe, Eric. Many of us make similar mistakes at some stage in our lives. As long as we learn from them.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        9 months ago from Olympia, WA

        There's a bit of Jack in me...ultra-focused....although ignoring a wife's wishes is a death sentence I try to avoid. lol

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        This is one of those big kid poetry lessons to be read with an 8 year old. Wonderful and entertaining and such a necessary thought to invoke.

        Life gets of a sticky wicket from time to time, best we focus on our loved ones and not things.

        I was Jack in the eighties. Don't care to have my boy do the same.

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