Thursday, 12 May 2011

...of listening

After the prayer the Head read a poem, La Belle Dame Sans Merci. The records which followed were Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu, and part of Vivaldi's Concerto in C for two trumpets. They listened, those rough-looking, untidy children; every one of them sat still, unmoving and attentive, until the very echo of the last clear note had died away. Their silence was not the result of boredom or apathy, nor were they quiet because it was expected of them or through fear of consequences; but they were listening, actively, attentively listening to those records, with the same raptness they had shown in their jiving; their bodies were still, but I could feel that their minds and spirits were involved with the music. I glanced towards Miss Blanchard and as though she divined my thoughts she smiled at me and nodded in understanding.

[To Sir, With Love, Braithwaite, E. R.]

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