8 Quiet


This exercise works well following either My Mother’s Kitchen or Mapping Your Childhood.  Read the poems below aloud and talk about the different types of quiet they can think of.  Ask them to talk about it before you start writing.  Some residents may need some prompting


Flowers through the window

lavender and yellow

changed by white curtains—

Smell of cleanliness—

Sunshine of late afternoon—

On the glass tray

a glass pitcher, the tumbler

turned down, by which

a key is lying—And the

immaculate white bed.

William Carlos Williams

The White Horse

The youth walks up to the white horse to put its halter on

and the horse looks at him in silence.

they are so silent they are in another world

D.H. Lawrence

No one spoke—

the host, the guests,

the white chrysanthemums.


Poems about quiet from residents of Regency Park:

When I was a little boy and got beaten

It was quiet afterwards.

George Johnson

Waking up at night looking at the clock.

Waiting for it to go off.

It’s the longest quietest time watching the clock go.

Not a sound—just the tick of the clock.

Rose MacMillan

The quietest time I ever remember in my life

Was when they took off my leg.

Another quiet time is when you’re with someone you like

And you’re making love.

And when I hit the number and won eight hundred dollars

That was quiet, very quiet.

Sam Rainey

The quietest time I remember

Was going out deep-sea fishing.

Me and my friend were way out on a rowboat fishing.

We caught a lot of fish.

All the stars were shining

The ocean was quiet

The wind was quiet

And we were quiet.

And the fish were biting.

 Leroy Burton


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