Hearing, listening, understanding
The extracts in the month of November are specially chosen to build awareness of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Read about it here!
|Image: All Rights Reserved|
|London : Sceptre|
He wanted to tell her about sound.
“Ask,” he said. “Ask what you want to know.”
But she had no questions about sound. She would have to make some up. She knew he wanted to understand. She opened one of the narrow windows and saw that a new wind was blowing in off the bay. The tips of the trees that lined the street were waving in a commotion. A ruckus was like a commotion; Mamo had told her that. Father used to say to Grania and Tress and Patrick, when they were children, “Don’t make so much ruckus”—and that meant noise.
“The leaves,” she said—she was making the effort, to please him—“do they make a wild noise when they are like this?”
“Not exactly the leaves. The wind howls but not the leaves.”
She came back to the blanket and curled her feet under her, and wondered. The wind howls. How many things did she not know? Many. But she knew that wolves howled along the edge of the woods near her grandfather’s farm on the Ninth. Bompa Jack had gone outside and shot one with his rifle during the night because it kept coming too close to the barn. He told her that on a clear night the cry of the wolf was like the crying of a baby.
“Bompa Jack,” she said, “ when the wolves howl, he feels their voices up the back of his neck.”
“Different kind of howl. The wind howls but it can change its sound. It all depends.”
It would, she thought. She rested one index finger over the other, making the sign, and lowered her hands to her lap. It all depends. Sound was always more important to the hearing.
Extract from the book Deafening
By Frances Itani
All rights reserved.
London: Sceptre, 2003.
Call Number: English ITA
Extract contributed by Ng Peck Hia
Available at NLB
Title: The raging quiet
By Sherryl Jordan
Call number: Y English JOR
Title: Eloquent silence
By Sandra Brown
Call number: English BRO -[RO]
Title: Talk talk
By T.Coraghessan Boyle
Call number: English BOY
Victor Hugo, a famous writer from the 19th century, once said: “What matters deafness of the ear when the mind hears? The one true deafness, the incurable deafness, is that of the mind.” Do you agree?