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Hush! Hush! Hush!

March 2, 2015

by Margaret Mahy

‘Hush! Hush! Hush!’ sings the wind on the hill.
‘Hush, you rackety world. Hold still!’
The ocean sings as it strokes the land.
‘Shush!’ sigh the waves on the soft, sea sand.
‘Hush!’ says the moon looking out of the night.
‘Hush to my darling, my heart’s delight.’

Ref: p.273 Ed. Paula Green (2014) A Treasury of NZ poems for children. Illustrated by Jenny Cooper. Random House: Auckland

The poem moves us from day to night and frenzy to stillness; it does this with words and it does this with sound. Does this poem sound out all the ‘s’ sounds in the English language? It’s a very alliterative poem, but the sound(s) it makes are those of the sea on a quiet tide; a wonderful sound to go to sleep to and I defy anyone not to feel soothed by that sound! I like the way Mahy included that need to still the busy-ness of the day before dipping into sleep; it’s an important part of the story.

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