Listen: hear anything? 🙂
THE SOUND COLLECTOR by Roger McGough A stranger called this morning Dressed all in black and grey Put every sound into a bag And carried them away The whistling of the kettle The turning of the lock The purring of the kitten The ticking of the clock The popping of the toaster The crunching of the flakes When you spread the marmalade The scraping noise it makes The hissing of the frying pan The ticking of the grill The bubbling of the bathtub As it starts to fill The drumming of the raindrops On the windowpane When you do the washing-up The gurgle of the drain The crying of the baby The squeaking of the chair The swishing of the curtain The creaking of the stair A stranger called this morning He didn't leave his name Left us only silence Life will never be the same ~ from Pillow Talk: A Book of Poems (Puffin Books, 1992)
We often take the small, ordinary sounds — the music of everyday life – for granted.
When I first read this poem, the “whistling of the kettle” made me smile because we have a Mickey Mouse tea kettle that sounds like a cross between Steamboat Willie’s whistle and a choo choo train (it has startled several guests). 🙂
And of course I loved the mention of marmalade; that scraping sound of butter and/or any kind of jam is always a good thing. McGough also gives away his Britishness with the term “washing up,” instead of the more American “doing the dishes,” or “washing the dishes.”
Sounds I Like
pen scratch on paper
little click of my ballpoint pen
tap tapping on keyboards
promising crack of a new book’s spine when you first open it
turning of the page
gentle tumble of Cheerios in my bowl
Sounds I Miss
my mother rhythmically chopping garlic and green onions with her cleaver
the coffee percolator in my parents’ house
my father’s harmonica
gentle trade winds
brrring-ring of a bicycle bell
Sounds I Want the Sound Collector to Take Away
police car and ambulance sirens
landline telephone ring
fingernails scraping blackboard
How about you?
While you’re contemplating, enjoy McGough reading his poem:
The lovely and talented Laura Purdie Salas is hosting the Roundup at Small Reads for Brighter Days. Zip on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up around the blogosphere this week. Have a nice weekend!
*Copyright © 2022 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.