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Winnicott, D.W. Khan, M. (2008). Poems and other Works. Psychoanal. Perspect., 5(2):91-97.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 5(2):91-97

Poems and other Works

D. W. Winnicott and Masud Khan

A Child's Letter to a Mother

Young Donald Winnicott wrote this letter to his mother when he was away at the Leys School in Cambridge in 1911 and it shows his need, even in his early years, to enliven his depressed mother through play. Maybe Clare Winnicott knew what a burden it really was for him to be in that role, for we can see in this letter what a task he had as a child.

My dearest Mother,

On September 2nd all true Scouts think of their mothers, since that was the birthday of Baden Powell's mother when she was alive. And so when you get this letter I shall be thinking of you in particular, and I only hope you will get it in the morning.

But to please me very much I must trouble you to do me a little favour. Before turning the page I want you to go up to my bedroom and in the right-hand cupboard find a small parcel … Now, have you opened it? Well, I hope you will like it. You can change it at Pophams if you don't. Only if you do so, you must ask to see No. 1 who knows about it.

I have had a ripping holiday, and I cannot thank you enough for all you have done and for your donation to the Scouts.

My home is a beautiful home and I only wish I could live up to it. However I will do my best and work hard and that's all I can do at present.

Give my love to the others; thank Dad for his game of billiards and V and K for being so nice and silly so as to make me laugh. But, it being Mother's Day, most love goes to you.

From your loving boy,


(Winnicott, C., 1989, p.

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