Wednesday, 5 October 2016


“I am indebted to my parents for living, but to my teachers for living well.” - Alexander the Great

“World Teachers’ Day held annually on 5 October, is a UNESCO initiative, a day devoted to appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world. The real point is to provide a time to look at and address issues pertaining to teachers.” – Quite aptly therefore, Poets United has as its Midweek Motif “Teaching”. Here is my contribution:

For My Teachers

The words I write are full of gratitude,
Each rounded letter a thank you,
Each line a heartfelt appreciation
Of my teachers’ tireless persistence.

The pages I read are full of knowledge,
Each word a bird in flight,
Each phrase a new friend, a new acquaintance,
Met in distant places, wandering through fabled cities.

The books I read are full of pleasure,
Each page full of new-felt emotion and senses;
Each sentence a laugh, some tears,
Some gentleness, some fiery argument.

The verse I write is full of thought and heart,
Of pain and joy, of brain and soul, love, friendship.
I write and read, and with unconscious ease effortlessly
Take for granted this precious gift of literacy.

I thank my luck for this privilege, this gift of providence,
That I was amongst the chosen to experience
This mystery of written word, of imprisoned sound,
Of captured language and word-pictures.
The present of literature, the happiness of calligraphy
The indulgence of a memoir, the work of words,
The magic of communication,
This richness of script.


  1. Well what can I say? Just exquisite!

    Literacy is a gift we are all entitled to, but the love of literature and expressing oneself through writing in verse or prose is something else again. You are right when you say it is the gift of providence to be amongst the chosen... I'll read you "richness of script" a few more times and wish I wrote one as good :)
    I enjoyed your interview with Sherry.

  2. I love the awareness, the gratitude for the privilege. I wonder if you have seen the movie The First Grader, true story about an elderly man in Africa who insisted he needed to learn to read - it shows flashbacks of his incredible amazing story.

    1. Yes, Sherry, I have watched "The First Grader". A marvellous, poignant and touching film! See my review here:

  3. You speak my mind! I wish these opportunities for everyone. Thank you.
    "Each rounded letter a thank you,
    Each line a heartfelt appreciation"

  4. This is so beautiful. Teachers are like the sun they shed light in our eyes so we can see the world.

  5. I like this, Nick....each word that one writes being full of gratitude. I don't think a lot of people reflect on that. After a while they just take their reading and writing for granted and don't look back at the time when someone lovingly and painstakingly introduced them to the joys of the written word. Indeed literacy is a gift we should not take for granted. Where would we be if we were not able to unlock the 'mystery of written word'?

  6. this is a beautiful poem of appreciation to teachers & providence...this reminds me of Helen Keller who truly carved her way with all her heart and mind all by herself and her wonderful teacher only to "This mystery of written word, of imprisoned sound, / Of captured language and word-pictures." we are indeed fortunate...heartfelt words...

  7. You have used your precious gift well!

  8. Somewhere, a teacher is thanking YOU for this encomium!

  9. Excellent tribute. I have a similar regard for many of the teachers that I had. I probably didn't appreciate them growing up but looking back they've meant a lot to me. Your poem sums up that gratitude.

  10. Every aspect you have projected.Nice.