Fred had two poems which he really enjoyed. Last time we took a look at the first one of the two, “Tarantella”, which was written by Hilaire Belloc. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Fred’s second poem, “The Listeners” which was written by Walter de la Mare. This poem is great for children of around nine or ten, because it leaves so many questions unanswered and they can be asked to contribute their own ideas to the discussion:
So….no answer when the grey-eyed traveller knocked on the moonlit door. The place is completely deserted. Or is it?
And off he goes. The silent ghosts reclaim their building as soon as the Traveller is gone. And the building returns to its usual deserted state:
But why did he say ‘Tell them I came, and no one answered, That I kept my word,’? Alas, there are no hints given on that score, although clearly, there is some connection between all three protagonists, namely, the Traveller, the lone house and the listeners.
I think that the poem is as simple as that. It’s rather like when a stranger knocks on the door of the house next door to yours. They wait for an answer but “answer came there none“. (Thank you, Lewis. Now just be quiet).
And you never do find out why they were knocking.