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September 24, 2016


The Sound Collector

by soundlandscapes

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 All the Best – The Selected Poems of Roger McGough.


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. hmunro
    Sep 26 2016

    You may occasionally dress in black and gray, but unlike this other collector you are instead creating a virtual museum of sounds that anyone in the world can visit, anytime. In fact, I would say that *before* I met you there was only silence! Thank you for introducing me to a whole new way of experiencing the world.

    • Sep 26 2016

      Thank you as always, Heather.

      In the UK this poem is often used in schools to introduce children to the art of listening to sounds and to the concept of silence. In that context, I think it’s a very powerful poem.

      It also illustrates something I firmly believe: we are often only aware of the sounds around us when they’re not there!

      I’ve just published my next post, which you may not have caught up with yet, (I think your reply to this post and my next post crossed in the ether) but it illustrates what happens when sounds we are all too familiar with disappear.


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