poet Roger McGough

Roger McGough

#24 on top 500 poets

The Sound Collector

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

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Add this poem to MyPoemList

Rating Card

4,8 out of 5
21 total ratings
rate this poem

Comments about The Sound Collector by Roger McGough

  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (11/22/2020 10:26:00 PM)

    A stranger called this morning
    He didn't leave his name
    Left us only silence
    Life will never be the same ///stranger is always such type where something odd or puzzling sign left as bewilderment. beautiful poem penned; enjoyable

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Khairul AhsanKhairul Ahsan (11/22/2020 9:26:00 PM)

    'Put every sound into a bag
    And carried them away' - loved this unique imagination and wondered how life would really be, if somebody could do it!
    Heartiest congratulations on the poem's selection as the 'Modern Poem of the Day'!

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (11/22/2020 7:55:00 PM)

    When you spread the marmalade
    The scraping noise it makes....call of stranger at this morning time is beautifully presented. Silence whispered to life. An excellent poem is well penned and a nice modern poem of the day is chosen.

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (11/22/2020 10:28:00 AM)

    The most sought after imaginary magician who can take away varied sounds coming out of modern day gadgets and machines and mingling with the atmosphere, for creating silence for a while, has been wonderfully visualized. Good modern poem of the day.

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Savita TyagiSavita Tyagi (11/22/2020 8:12:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem. When all is gone we are still left with something as mysterious and enticing as the silence! In silence I roam around the cosmos and return to the comforts of words. To the sensation of being alive!

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • M S NewhadneyM S Newhadney (11/22/2020 7:37:00 AM)

    A creative combination between music and poem upon musical capacity of words! ! !

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (11/22/2020 7:04:00 AM)

    he whistling of the kettle
    The turning of the lock
    The purring of the kitten
    The ticking of the clock
    very good poem

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Deluke Muwanigwa (11/22/2020 3:51:00 AM)

    Good one. I am left wondering whether the stranger was a burglar or a debt collector/stroke messenger of court. Hopeful he left the baby and pets. God forbid the stranger could even be death by fire say. That could wipe everything.

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (11/22/2020 2:45:00 AM)

    The crying of the baby / The squeaking of the chair
    The swishing of the curtain / The creaking of the stair
    All kinds of voices have been collected and loaded in this wonderful poem. But what has taken the center stage is the visit of a stranger which has left a streak of silence to submerge all those voices.

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (9/15/2020 11:01:00 AM)

    The popping of the toaster
    The crunching of the flakes
    When you spread the marmalade
    The scraping noise it makes
    fine descriptions. tony

    Report Reply
    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Shaun CronickShaun Cronick (7/29/2020 4:49:00 PM)

    This is simply a great poem superbly well written with a great closing stanza.
    One to reread and enjoy time after time.10+.

    Report Reply
    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • IainTSM (3/17/2020 9:54:00 AM)

    I wonder if the poet is going deaf. I see he was born in 1937 (according to Wikipedia) . Another fabulously witty poem! ! !

    Report Reply
    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (9/30/2019 9:52:00 PM)

    A fine collection of everyday sound words associated with living in a house.But
    once a stranger takes away those sounds, they are sorely missed.
    'Life will never be the same'.

    Report Reply
    6 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • AMAZING (6/3/2019 11:54:00 PM)

    amazing, love it. its my favorite poem

    Report Reply
    6 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Evie x (4/27/2019 9:02:00 AM)

    This was my homework it took me an hour😭😭

    Report Reply
    6 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Layla (4/6/2019 2:55:00 PM)

    I've learned this poem at school for a Easter event

    Report Reply
    7 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Robert Murray SmithRobert Murray Smith (5/22/2018 8:56:00 PM)

    This is the first poem that I thought was worthwhile from this poet. Great write.+++10

    Report Reply
    4 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (5/22/2018 6:05:00 PM)

    The whistling of the kettle has amazed mind with wonderful expression of this poem. The drumming of the raindrops has danced with beauty of and light of stars. This poem is very nicely and beautifully penned. Silence is definitely magical.

    Report Reply
    3 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Chandan DeyChandan Dey (5/22/2018 3:13:00 PM)

    This poem will certainly inspires us to search sound in silence. Thank you for sharing this poem with us.
    Chandan

    Report Reply
    6 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Muzahidul RezaMuzahidul Reza (5/22/2018 2:05:00 PM)

    Put every sound into a bag
    And carried them away, very interesting by Roger McGough,
    i would like to share this bag, ha- ha- ha- ha-

    Report Reply
    3 person liked.
    3 person did not like.



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?