This mini anthology is a wonderful introduction to the countless poems written about fathers and fatherhood. Father William is present, of course, a feisty figure who reminds us that age is entitled to have the last word.
There’s affection and humour, alongside tender remembrance. In one poem a father carries his young daughter on his shoulders after a trip to the pantomime and realises how precious such moments are:
“And I clutch you tightly for fear you blow away
For fear you grow up to soon ….
… And sensing this, I hold you tighter still.”
from ‘Cinders’ by Roger McGough
Just as important are the everyday happenings that become special with hindsight: a family meal at which a dad contends with a hot potato, or the nightly ritual of an ageing father who insists on turning off the water before he goes to bed in case a pipe bursts while he’s asleep.
Poems by Coral Bracho, Lewis Carroll, Louise Glück, Tony Harrison, Tariq Latif, Joanne Limburg, Roger McGough, Shazea Quraishi, Michael Rosen and Siriol Troup.