Poet's Corner

6th December 1996 at 00:00
The following poem is one of Iain Crichton Smith's favourites, which he describes as "fairly optimistic" and particularly popular with pupils who relate well to the two schoolgirls. It's one of the poems they like best in the group used for Highers.

Two Girls Singing

It neither was the words nor yet the tune.

Any tune would have done and any words.

Any listener or no listener at all.

As nightingales in rocks or a child crooning in its own world of strange awakening, or larks for no reason but themselves.

So on the bus through late November running by yellow lights tormented, darkness falling, the two girls sang for miles and miles together and it wasn't the words or tune. It was the singing.

It was the human sweetness in that yellow, the unpredicted voices of our kind.

Iain Crichton Smith

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