Thursday, 24 December 2015

The voice so low and soft at my door




And on waking
find the voice 
so low and soft at my door
was not yours
for you sleep.

The message half heard,
understood as an undertone,
meant to hasten me across the floor,
to persuade me 'let them in',
yet leaving me unaware
of who they were.

I wake and listen,
straining for another word,
expecting clarity
in more whispered syllables.

None come,
there is no voice left at the edge of the room,
no foot disturbs the sleeping boards,
the door is only just ajar, no hand pushes it further.

I lie and wait and know
I am the only one awake
and still reach into the room
for the rest of the message.

Should I let them in?
Do they find it cold, unlovely,
a night of winds and sharp rain?
Should I rush down, feeling my way
until I touch the outer door
rattling in the storm?
Will they be leaning - sudden, beaten,
expectant - on the other side?

I lie and listen,
unwilling to move without knowing
then leave my bed to listen at the door
to the sound of everyone sleeping. 



© Amanda J Harrington 2015

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Monday, 16 November 2015

What if I fail?



I have lots of GCSE students at the moment and we don't use the F word very often. We talk about how to achieve the C, or how the last mark was a D or an E. We talk about how it might be better to do the Higher paper and risk not knowing anything but have a better chance of a C anyway. Lots and lots of talk about the C grade, but we don't say...fail.

We don't even whisper it. We don't talk about not getting a C as a fail, or how getting a D would still be a fail. E doesn't even come into it - no one wants to think about the E. Anything that is not a C is a fail, but we don't say it.

Is it that simple though?

We build up our kids to do their best. From an early age we say, 'You can only do your best!' And if they don't do as well as they hoped, we tell them it was good enough, it was great, they did a great job because they did their best. It's all just great until you reach exam stage and then it switches round to success above all else.

And suddenly success is not about doing your best. When did that happen? Who gave it permission to be a truth in the exam years that success could not mean anything less than a C? Or that to some students success is marked only with an A?

Please! Those same students who worked their socks off all these years did not suddenly do less well; they did what they could in the face of a rigid system that judges people by a few hours work crammed in at the end of their school lives. Does getting less than a C negate all those years of learning? All those years of effort and good attendance and hopes?

Don't come at me with your Ifs and Buts either. If only they tried, if only they listened, if only they did exactly what their teacher said. But employers want C, but they can't do college without a C, they can't do A Levels without a C.

In the real world, things happen in long, curly loops of time filled with living and all kinds of learning. In the world beyond school, we do not have to cram what we know into tiny pockets of time and hope it turns out okay. In the rest of our lives after school we finally discover the truth that school - and exams - were the beginning, not the end.

So what if we fail? What if your child fails? What if there is no C at the end of the yellow brick road?

Well, then, perhaps all those wonderful qualities that make your child amazing just as they are will have to be used instead of the bit of paper talking about their exam results.

College and A Levels and Jobs are all big, important life events but the bold C in black and white is not the only way to access these. And if people in authority judge your child only on their grades and not on their overall achievements and efforts, perhaps you need to look elsewhere?

In the end, we all fail. Life happens, things occur in the wrong order, we miss the right turning and take some time to find another way. Half the excitement of living your own life is to discover what really suits you and a lot of that discovery comes from finding out what doesn't fit after all.

Do well and don't think of failure. Do your very best, just like when you were little, and truly, no one should ask any more of you. And when you get the grade you worked so hard for, please be very proud of yourself.

There is no fail, there is only life, and we all have to take that test in our own unique way.


© Amanda J Harrington 2015

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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Tracing the veil



What lies behind the gravestone, the dark breakfast,
the day of crows and lifted voices?
What crouches neath and low as life walks past,
chattering and unaware?
What gray face watches as we bend to re-collect
a fallen trophy?

Does the world shake as we bend?
Does it tremble in the hollow where we played as children?
Does the water weep from the rocks to the earth to the soft, hillside grass?
Is it still tears in the stream?

Will each small footfall create only enough sound
for the person walking by to hear it?
Or does it echo hope grandly
in some upside down, other-place
with a keen ear cocked for its passing?

Do we feel it, do we know we are so glorious,
that other mouths are driven to mimic our words
and wait desperately to touch our lips?
Is this why we start awake in fear, imagining
a tentative finger
tracing the veil between us?

In the end that last corner at the foot of the street.
That spot marked out for a final turn.
A bored, dedicated creature waits,
one foot rested up against the wall,
head bowed the better to listen,
eyes glazed in reflective wonder. 

Startled at the last, the creature turns;
We round the corner and we know
that moment of greeting is ours.

The streams run, the rocks weep,
the hand trembles on the cloth as buttons are fastened.
Curtains open to unseen skies
and somewhere is music we may have loved.

Out on the hills with the rain
dense enough to be part of the earth
we rise and consider the sun. 


(I started to write this poem while I was still asleep, at the end of a tortuous dream where there was only silent, mocking danger and unheard voices. When I woke up, I re-wrote what I'd written in the dream then the rest came along by itself, almost full formed).


© Amanda J Harrington 2015

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Saturday, 10 October 2015

One hand lifted



Drifting in the cool lustre-waters of her mind
she sees the sun and closes her eyes against it.
Floats out to the deep drop point,
gently tenders the silent waves moving beneath her.

The sky scuds, the ground is far away, the air shivers with unheard voices.
Quiver-light on the waters breaks across her body,
wet enough to be part of the dance.

Left to right she drifts, her hand idly teasing,
the blue turning dark.
Land is a memory.

Somewhere after she forgets herself the waves heave in a finale
and she knows that all colours darken
if you dance too far.

She moves to the side,
the dance ends.

She waits
for the tune
to pick up again
inviting, inviting, inviting,
one hand lifted, ready for the note.

© Amanda J Harrington 2015

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Sunday, 4 October 2015

How to make kids love poetry




I am an evil tutor, yes I am. When I introduce poetry to my younger students, the ones who have only studied Daffodils and sometimes a tiny bit of Macbeth, I give them a 'nice' poem first and then, before they know what has happened, we're into Rossetti.

"Remember me when I am gone away,Gone far away into the silent land;When you can no more hold me by the hand,Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay."Remember by Christina Rossetti


Dear Christina Rossetti, the portal to so much understanding and grace! She has that rare quality of being able to wrap up lovely phrases within rhyming poetry with syllables so strong you could trap bullocks in them. And because she rhymes, children still see it as a 'proper' poem.


From Christina we move on to stranger poems, easier to understand on the surface but with deep, dark undercurrents waiting for unwary readers. But before you can move on, you need to understand what came before. I don't move on until we are ready and I am there, right next to them, with my finger on the words and face ready to light up as I explain what it means.


Simply, if you are ever going to understand hard, knobbly poetry written to make the best readers struggle, then you need to walk before you can run. Ignore Daffodils (sorry William), this is not exciting or interesting. Try Roald Dahl and his story poems, try funny stuff and horror poems, or poems about football and school bullies. Try anything that actually holds some spark of interest for children and young people.


And once they get the idea that you can read a poem and like it, then hit them (not literally, we're not allowed to do that anymore) with a big wodge of Something Bigger. Show them how poems don't have to be about football to touch their lives, to speak softly in a language only partly understood when we listen closely at the open door, remembering caught phrases and filling in the rest from the way it makes us feel.


Do not, at the age of 11, give them Rossetti as a class and expect them to understand. Do not send them home with dear Christina and expect to foster anything but fear and dislike for poetry. Do not anticipate literary greatness from Year 7s by tossing the poem at them with only a list of language devices to help them on their way.


Yes, I know there was a talk and the whole class was there and they were told exactly what they needed to do. But in case you haven't noticed they are mostly 11 year olds and they went to Primary School only a few months ago and they still get lost sometimes trying to find the Chemistry room.
Some small pocket of the class will try really hard and come close to understanding beautiful Victorian poetry, yet even that isn't worth too much as understanding does not transform magically into love.


It comes down to a very easy choice: you either choose to nurture a love of poetry that will last a lifetime, or you choose to push-push-push children into harder literacy work with an eye on future exam results.


Those exam results might not be any better for this pushing and there is a lot of life after school, life that would be better if it loved poetry - poetry that is just as important whether it is Dahl or Rossetti.



© Amanda J Harrington 2015

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Sunday, 27 September 2015

A lonely song playing in the night






Another life is being lived and where I thought I knew
I find instead another me and then another you.
I thought again of where I was and where I meant to be,
I thought of all the whys and ifs that led me to be free.

And for a time I wondered if 'twas freedom after all
to be the me I am right now, or if it was just more,
of listening to the inner voice which makes it all seem right
when really it's a lonely song playing in the night.

Then I woke and left it there, a picture breathing still,
so that alone I look again until I've had my fill.
I think of it, I think of you, of what might once have been
and then move on throughout my day re-living what I've seen.


© Amanda J Harrington 2015

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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Don't be so eager to please



Apparently girly aspies are far too eager to please. From nursery through to marriage, we're the ones who hide our difficulties behind a veil of smiles and trying-too-hards. We're the girls who slot in where everyone else would like us to be and this eagerness to make ourselves good and true and kind and perfect is what is supposed to mask our Aspergers.

Well, let's ignore for a moment the absolutely abhorrent message buried in a shallow grave in this whole scenario - that to be a girl is to be a creature made to please everyone else, no matter who this mass of everyone else might be - and move onto the masking.

So, you have Aspergers and you are a small child of 4. As a girl aspie you have a super-power: you have the ability to run into your school years without anyone knowing you are on the spectrum. From the age when children still have trouble holding a pencil or tying their shoelaces, us girls are able to not only mask our needs well enough to fool a whole world, we are also doing it on purpose.

Yes, as a girl aspie we are meant to be so eager to please that we can mask our true nature under a bouquet of smiles and curtsies. Any 4 year old can do that!

Do you feel some sarcasm leaking out? Do you feel some anger too? Hold onto it, you might need it later.

Fast-forward from this 4 year old maelstrom of mood-management to the little girl who has just turned 10 and understands the world a lot more. She can look at Susy and Chloe and know they know things she'll never know. And then she'll get distracted by the repetition of 'know' and go to tell Chloe and Susy in great detail why this is fascinating and remember too late about not doing that kind of thing.

Our 10 year old is a lot more aware of pleasing people. She now watches for the teacher's face changing, or her classmates noticing her doing something out of the ordinary. She watches all the time. And she watches quietly, even when she's being loud.

You might see her running about, shouting, playing, being part of a group but a person who looks more closely will see how this little girl's eyes travel from side to side as she runs: she is checking that all is well, that she does the right thing. And if she gets carried away and does the wrong thing, she will try to realise in time and cover it up before anyone has noticed.

By this age, life is more complicated because those other 10 years olds are also more aware and they sussed in nursery that our 10 year old was different. Good different or bad different? Her true friends don't care that she's different but with other people there is a tangible ping to her, as if at any moment she might do something incredible and terrifying.

You go forward, she goes forward and we find ourselves looking at the 16 year old girl. She is now well-versed in fitting in. How good she is! How practiced at walking into a room and not doing anything that might single her out as apart from the group. And yet her every step is tempered by the knowledge of many other steps where it didn't go as planned and she was suddenly the centre of attention.

This 16 year old might be outgoing but she's more likely to be quiet. Yes, I'm generalising. But again, just like the girl running in the playground, outgoing or quiet your aspie girl grows up watching the world to see what it might do and what she should do in return.

She chooses her words carefully, when she remembers, and has a tendency to sound stilted and formal. Or she forgets to choose them and sounds like herself and doesn't realise this is okay.

She is charming, odd, good at unusual things, bad at what everyone can do or just very bad at doing anything with an audience. She can tell you facts you never even knew there was a question for and completely forget to bring her lunch to school. She looks at you to see what you are going to say, sometimes forgetting to listen to you say it. She is adept at avoiding the angry teachers and at making friends with the stern, scary ones everyone else hates.

(For what it's worth, stern, scary teachers actually appreciate children who know fab facts and can tell when students are trying to be ordinary).

In essence, she is herself, right there on the spectrum with all kinds of amazingness which goes unnoticed by most and can be filed under quirky. Yes, she is quirky, but you know what?

That 16 year old is still in nursery. She has spent all these school years learning about other people and the way the world works as well as learning about her school work. Or at least she tried. Want to know why she couldn't do her lessons? Want to know why she went through a phase of meltdowns so big she had to be sent home? Do you? Well, maybe you should have found out at the time instead of sending her home or having a meeting without her parents present.

She went home to her sanctuary and all was like the blessed fall of cool water after a long, summer's night. She tilted her face on the way through the door and saw the light shine just so on the front windows of her house and she was safe again. She left behind all the pressures and went home to where she can breathe out and go to her room.

And this girl grew and knew what she should do and say and still wanted to go home. She still wanted to have meltdowns too, and sometimes she would. Not always a people pleaser, but always watching, waiting, seeing what they do and what they want so she won't be in danger today.

The assumption is that girls are expected to be eager to please, that it is in their make-up or their upbringing to please others. But perhaps it's just the way they react to danger?

Girls are often expected to be quiet more than boys and if you have an aspie girl who is working her frilly socks off to be the same as other girls, she'll learn that people want her to be compliant. Also, girls figure out that compliance can mean being left to get on with your life, which is peaceful.

Let me smile at you and nod and agree to whatever it was you wanted just so you turn around, right now, and leave without asking me for anything more. I might not do the thing you wanted, I might forget, or say I forget; I might frustrate you and anger you and make it worse for myself, but in the end you will accept I was trying and leave me alone more often. People who try to please are left alone and then they have a pocket of time to be themselves so I'll try to please and when you are not looking, drift off into that place where you cannot ever go and wouldn't be allowed if you were able.

Don't look at me that way I hate, don't raise your voice, don't disapprove of me because disapproving feels like danger and I need to be safe. Don't expect me to be like the others, yet I can't ask you this last thing. I try to seem like the others, just so you won't look at me, and shout at me and disapprove of me, so I have to accept that you want me to be like them and do my best to seem that way.

It is logical and, despite the pictures of butterflies and aliens, and alien-butterflies and my endless knowledge of the two - despite this I am logical and I know if I smile and say yes, then life is quieter and I can carry on being safe.

Later, when I'm not 4 or 10 or 16, it might occur to me this wasn't the best plan, that perhaps it wasn't as logical as I thought to fit in just so. By then, maybe I'll have the courage to be myself all the way through from the middle to the outside? Will I still be eager to please?

My dear world, of course I will, so long as it suits me.

Amanda




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Sunday, 6 September 2015

The wrath turns





Sting rout ahead,
wasps angle
in the chiming call of battle,
weeding themselves purer and purer,
each new sting more cleansed
than the one before,
each queen more vibrant,
hearkening back to giantesses
who ruled the earth.
Here they rule too,
each tiny pocket of air theirs,
the screams of their voices a song
promising dreams living at the tip of the wing.

Below, the wrath turns,
tilting towards the target.
Feeling momentum built on centuries,
cured in weeks,
tempered so that the very sharpest blade never breaks,
no matter how keen.

Too late the slow face turns,
the expanse of territory sealed
in one doe-eyed interloper.

The blades sing,
the wings thrum in the air
and each wasp is a vessel for glory and rage.
Each warrior perfect in the moment of the fall,
bringing gods right to the surface,
casting aside doubt, turning to deal the blow,
small bodies swollen in triumph
and the knowledge that each one holds eons of power,
wielded together in death and fury.

The sun shines on her heroes,
the blades fall
and the light swarms. 

©Amanda J Harrington 2015

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Friday, 7 August 2015

What to do when school says everything is fine, but...




We've all been there. Tears at bedtime, tears over breakfast or, far worse, the stony little face as you fasten their coat and get ready to go out of the door.

You know you'll leave your little one in school and come away feeling like you have let them down, as if you should gather them to you and take them home again. Yet whenever you ask the teacher how your child is doing, the answer is always the same:

'Oh, they're fine! No, of course they like school. You should see them once you've gone, chattering away to their friends! There's nothing to worry about.'

Who do you trust? The trained professional who is in the same room as your child every day? Or your instinct and the anxious little face in the mornings?

And how about that same child at home time? No details of school, no great drama either. Instead, you have a small person who is glad to be going home but doesn't tell you tales of bad treatment or desperate days.

It's a quiet problem, isn't it? They might cry but pinning down reasons why is a problem. Or they don't cry and just seem unhappy, again with no dramatic reason.

How can you march into school and demand answers if you're not even sure of the questions? Is it enough to go to the teacher and say,

'I don't know what's wrong, but something is!'

Afraid of getting The Look, you hold back, or try to prise reasons out of your child as to what is wrong with school.

After all, are you just worrying over nothing? Is it the same for everyone?

No, it isn't. This is where we fall down. Other parents agree if you bring it up and say, 'Oh yes, our Amy was the same but now she's fine,' or, 'James is just as bad, he makes a fuss every day but it doesn't mean anything!'

There is a difference, you see. These parents agree with you, because all children hate school sometimes and all children are late sometimes and all children can be hard to get out of the door.

But if you feel something is wrong with your child, then trust your instinct. You might not be there in person every day, but your child is in your heart every second of every day you are alive. If you think there is a problem, there is one, no matter how small.

Talk to the teacher - really talk to them. Don't worry about being the neurotic mother or the bossy father, it's all part of having a small, vulnerable, loved little person in school.

Explain your worries, do not be put off, make the teacher aware you have real reason to feel the way you do and then see what happens.

I promise no magic fix - and the teacher shouldn't promise you one either. This is where you need to work together as people who both care for a child who needs your help. If all seems fine at school then the teacher should still want to know why your child seems unhappy to come. If you go on being unheard, take it higher or be determined until you are heard. If you carry on being unheard, there are other schools.

But if all goes well then you have the teacher's backing and help to find out what's wrong and make it right. Most teachers do want your child to be happy in school, most care and most try their best to make things right. Making sure this happens is where you come in.

So, if school says everything is fine but you're not convinced, be the hero your child knows you are, the one they look to for rescue and the person they want to be when they grow up.

Above all, be brave. This time around, you are in school as a grown up and you have the power to change things.

Everything will be fine...

©Amanda J Harrington 2015

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Sunday, 2 August 2015

I paint you jolly



I paint you jolly like candystripe
All ready for the tree
Like little bells and cockle shells
Sung by littler me.

I paint you in the yellow
Of 70s sunshine days
I paint you with my smallest brush
I paint your blackest ways.

I try to paint you perfectly
Just so with expert hand,
I try to make realistic
A timeless nonsense land

Where everything is painted nice
And all the stars are bright,
Skies deepest blue and doors the same
Where windows shine with light.

I painted you again today
Determined to be right
I painted you just as you liked
In shades of blue and white.

What will I do with all this left-
Over grey and brown?
Should I worry it was not used?
Should I paint it down?

Should I try to fit it in
And hope it's all okay?
Or should I paint you smiling still?
No night, just endless day.

©Amanda J Harrington 2015

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Friday, 17 July 2015

Words




Holding the covetous words,
squirming inside my palm,
working out their little holes,
peeping the light as it lingers
between my fingers.

Like trickles of water they escape,
broken pieces flitting past skin,
dropping in to the conversation,
surely too small to taste
or feel within?

Silences blanket them,
shadows of open mouths,
glimmers of light touching a face,
heads raised to leave a space,
big enough for the sun to fall in.

All the while, as drama outplays life,
the main body of words still in my hand,
wrenches side to side,
pulling the under of my skin,
tugging loose from pink, glowing lands
held in place with sinew and grace.

Too big to fit they bulge,
my hands altogether and suddenly too small,
not even hands anymore. I stretch,
fingers desperate, skin shivering
and then words
exploding
a shower, unburdened
and finally free of me. 


©Amanda J Harrington 2015

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Sunday, 21 June 2015

Why can't Shakespeare just make sense?!



Setting the scene: in one corner we have Shakespeare, with nothing to prove and hundreds of years of sales, critics and respect under his belt. In the other corner we have Sophie, an English student, struggling to understand how Macbeth is even classed as English when it's a Scottish play and how Shakespeare ever made any money.

Sophie has the job of explaining the meeting of the witches with Macbeth. They've read about it in class, they've been shown an awful film by the BBC and they had three weeks of preparation for this one piece of work. Now she sits, pen in hand, staring at the page and hating, just seriously hating Macbeth, his witches and anything else to do with Shakespeare or poetry (why isn't this poetry, Miss?) and whatever else they have to study between now and the end of Year 11.

FIRST WITCH: Where hast thou been, sister?SECOND WITCH: Killing swine.

This shows that the witches are related and they like to have a chat. Also, a swine is a pig so the witches like to kill pigs.

Pause for deep thought. Miss said to make sure you talk about the sub-text. Sophie knows the sub-text is something unknowable that lives under the main text of the play and is meant to be obvious and clever. It seems to mean making up other stuff that was never in the play, so she adds:

Macbeth is like a pig to the witches because they really want him to die. And maybe eat him?

Pleased, she nods and reads on.

FIRST WITCH: 'Give me,' quoth I
'Aroint thee, witch!' the rump-fed ronyon cries.

'Quoth I' means the witch is speaking to the woman who is eating chestnuts. The woman is not pleased about having to share her chestnuts and wants to aroint the witch. By using words like aroint and ronyon, Shakespeare makes this conversation sound very mysterious.

Sophie frowns, feeling the whole of the play is a mystery, even though it's apparently not a mystery at all but a tragedy, except it doesn't seem too tragic that a villain like Macbeth ends up being killed off. Oh, but then Macbeth isn't a villain? Miss said he wasn't a villain, and even his wife is meant to be a tragedy too?

Sighing, she moves on:

MACBETH: So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

The weather is very bad but this is also a play on words (Sophie smiles, pleased with herself) because the witches have made the weather bad and the witches are evil so the weather is like an evil thing. His day is also fair because he won his battle and he's excited about it and not even the weather can bring him down today.

(Sophie has made a really good point here and actually looked deep into the dark well of Macbeth; except she'll probably be marked down because her language is too informal - you're meant to have the proper respect for Shakespeare and not use phrases like 'bring him down'. Yes, the unfairness of it!)

BANQUO: If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not,
Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear
Your favours nor your hate.

There's a deep pause. Sophie has no memory of this bit. At all. Never in her life can she remember reading it or hearing about it. It's like the book opened and new words fell in. What on earth is she meant to do with this? And who was Banquo again? She has a feeling he was kind of important.

Yes, he was a ghost! But is he a ghost here? Is he already a ghost? Nobody seems much bothered by him, so maybe he's not. And he's asking questions as well, so he probably is alive because ghosts would know things and not have to ask and anyway, Macbeth would hardly be scared of the witches if he had a ghost following him round all the time.

Banquo is talking to the witches and

Utter desperation sets in. Sophie holds her pen in the air, as if the gap between pen and paper will magically draw ideas and make them into her own words. She reads and re-reads the passage. He's talking to the witches, he's saying, no, he's asking! He's asking, even though there's no question mark. Bloody Shakespeare.

Banquo is asking the witches to speak to him about his own time

A big sigh and what feels like the start of a headache. Everyone else is writing. What do they know that Sophie doesn't? Everything probably. Oh well, better make something up so she looks like she knows what she's doing. And Miss did say that if you could back it up with the text then it might mean extra marks, even if you weren't sure you were right.

Banquo isn't frightened of the witches because he knows they're just evil and he's good so he doesn't mind talking to them. He thinks they won't be able to make him afraid or make him beg because he's good and honest. He wants to know about his own time so he asks them, but he doesn't make it a proper question because it's impossible to ask about the future so he makes it a statement instead and he hopes they'll tell him something good.

Sophie feels like she just did double PE but without the shouting. She could lie down for the rest of the day, except it's only 10.15 and Physics next. She rests her pen and wonders why Shakespeare even matters. It's not as if she'll ever need to know any of this stuff later, is it? It's not like she wants to take English for A Level (more reading!). She likes reading but only books like Harry Potter, or watching Game of Thrones on TV. She likes ones with lots of excitement, a bit of love and a hero that isn't too boring and magic and mystery in them too.

Sophie blinks and looks back down at Macbeth. Could it be that Shakespeare meant this to be that kind of story? Was this the same for him as her books are for her?

For a moment Sophie feels a link with the text she never had before, an understanding of its purpose and why people might enjoy it. Then her gaze falls on 'what seem'd corporal melted as breath in the wind' and suddenly she hates him again, him and his missed 'e's and double uses of words and rhyming when it isn't poetry, even though it is.

She picks up her pen and starts to write her conclusion without knowing what it is yet. And she wishes, with all her heart, that they could study real books for English, something she understands and not have to look up all the time just to read one line.

Something not mysterious and meant so that everybody can read it, even if they aren't good at English.

I think Macbeth feels like the witches are very mysterious because he meets them in a storm and they know his name. His friend Banquo isn't afraid because he has nothing to fear but Macbeth is nervous because just when things are going right, witches appear out of nowhere and he's worried it will all go wrong. But he's also tempted to find out what they can do, which is why he is a tragic hero. If he had decided they were evil and carried on being good, he would still be alive at the end of the play and so would nearly everybody else and the witches wouldn't be able to do anything except make storms and kill pigs.


©Amanda J Harrington 2015

My books on Amazon
My own website for books and tuition
Find me on Facebook and Twitter!
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Saturday, 13 June 2015

Sometimes he was an artist.




On his way to the shop,
met them standing there,
girls in the playground,
doing whatever they do.

Sauntered up, face alive, telling jokes
to nervous laughter, almost in fear.
Emboldened, strong, already victorious,
he saw her strange eyes in an ordinary face.

Sometimes he was an artist,
painting with words
ripped from his heart
to tear into others.

He said, he said, he said,
so much and so well
he could barely stop long enough to grin,
waiting for her face, for tears, waiting for pain.

Slanted moments filled
with silence at last,
from him as he waited,
from them as they watched.

She said nothing, lost
to them all, lost
to herself, lost
in her own world.

She never heard.
Her face stayed the same,
her strange eyes finally
seeing his smile.

She waited to see if he would speak. 



©Amanda J Harrington 2015

My books on Amazon
My own website for books and tuition
Find me on Facebook and Twitter!
Read my Aspergers blog


A story somewhere