‘Saying thank you’ – a poem for father’s day.

Saying thank you

In the beginning very little gratitude

Who gets to choose their parents after all?


But gradually you realise what you’ve been given

And in time you understand the debt you owe



For bathing me in music; Bach, Stravinsky and Coltrane

and placing me in chamber groups with Mozart, Gounod and Damase


For giving me that tiny clarinet and showing how it sings

and picking me for your orchestral team of two


For introducing me to our well tempered Broadwood

and giving me a lifelong friend


For all the concerts, galleries and books

and helping me to look at things and judge them


For all those pesky questions and digging for the truth

and never being satisfied with unconvincing answers


For your constant interest in others

and respect for what they do


For having many passions, solitary and social

and pursuing them with truly scientific joy


For scepticism, horror films and ginger

and Berkeley, Barnes and Bayswater – and Wetherby of course


For looking to the granite island for your match

and getting that most vital thing so right


For writing your clear story and letting me write mine

For all of this and so much else


It seems like a good moment

To say thank you.

April 2012 on the occasion of John Playfair’s 81st birthday

john playfair

John Playfair obituary


About Eddie Playfair

I am a Senior Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges (AoC) having previously been a college principal for 16 years and a teacher before that. I live in East London and I blog in a personal capacity about education and culture. I also tweet at @eddieplayfair
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2 Responses to ‘Saying thank you’ – a poem for father’s day.

  1. Elly Tobin says:

    Thanks for sharing this and your moving tribute to your father in the obituary. He was clearly a very talented man and much loved.



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