Noise: The Gift You Can't Hold

‘Tis the season for giving and receiving gifts. There are gifts that can be wrapped up in shiny wrapping paper and tied with a bow, but have you ever received a gift you can’t hold? This could be your mother’s smile, the expansive rays of the sun, the coziness of a warm sweater, or the sound of the breeze through the trees? For this activity we will discuss the gift of sound and noise—an often-overlooked gift.

What sound, when you hear it, feels like it was made just for you? What feels like a gift and makes you feel safe, confident, or celebrated? What sounds make you smile?

Examples of this include the crackle of eggs frying on the pan in the morning, bells chiming on your grandma’s porch, the sound of undoing a cupcake wrapper right before you take a big bite, the sound of your feet smacking the floor as you run down the hallway. What sound do you look forward to hearing? What sound brings you joy? What sound can you not help but want to hear more of? What sound do you like that no one else likes?

1. Brainstorm

1. Think of a sound you enjoy hearing.
2. Where were you when you heard it?
3. Have you heard it again since?
4. How does it make you feel?

2. Fill-in-the-blank:

Line 1: The sound of _____  is a gift to me.
Line 2: (An emotion you have when you hear this sound)
Line 3: (Three descriptions for what this sound sounds like)
Line 4: (An animal that the sound from line 1 would be & the emotion that this animal would feel)
Line 5: Telling me _____ (What would this sound tell you if it could speak? )
Line 6: _____ is a gift to me (sound from line 1)

3. Create a title for your poem and share with a friend!


The sound of plates crashing on the kitchen floor

The sound of plates crashing
is delight
the clatter, the piercing, the stickiness after it falls
plates crashing is a panicked bird
telling me it no longer wants to be held
the sound of plates crashing is a gift to me

Image by Suresh Kumar.


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