In The Frame

Motion's poetic send-off for Sandy

Sandy Nairne

Sandy Nairne, the retiring director of London’s National Portrait Gallery, was honoured with a send-off from the former poet laureate, Andrew Motion, who spoke at his farewell party last week (23 February). The two men have known each other since schooldays, so Motion felt he could include a slightly cheeky comment on Nairne’s sartorial style when he stood up to read his eulogistic verses, composed for the occasion. We reproduce just a few lines from Motion’s detailed portrait in words, in which he praised Nairne for: the way sense matches humour in your talk; the way your long black coat and big black hat make us reflect, ‘He’s got away with that when I would certainly be thought a prat’; the way you learn your speeches off by heart and make formalities a gracious art; the way your energy and stamina exceed the normal human store

From In The Frame
Published online: 02 March 2015

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