More House choir recently performed an original composition by Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade at Holy Trinty by Sloane Square, to great acclaim. The piece was inspired by the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins with particular reference to the natural world.
In English classes the girls were introduced to the language and imagery in Hopkins texts where peacocks were a theme of exotic beauty and fascination..
The peacock is glorious and grand when displaying feathers which were eyed by onlookers with both admiration and envy. The girls were asked to consider the poems by Hopkins and write a short story based on the imagery within the texts, which they responded to with imagination and flair. In particular, Ahana Ogle in year 8, was inspired with ‘The Cry of the Peacock’ which transported us to ancient India where exotic birds roamed in the palace gardens. Here’s what she wrote…
The Cry of the Peacock
In ancient India there used to be Maharajas that ruled the land. Although maharajas do not rule India today, some of the exquisite palaces are still standing and have been converted into hotels. There was a boy whose job it was to look after the peacocks that lived in the huge gardens. This year, the boy (Raj) whose job it was to look after the peacocks in the palace got the job that the men in his family had been doing for generations. When his grandfather died, he had taken over his job. His family was very poor, they barely had enough money to live and he did not get paid much money. Raj was worrying about how his family could get enough money to survive.
Raj had a special friendship with one of the peacocks in the gardens, Sima. She was the most beautiful peacock in the whole of India. Sima had the most exquisite feathers which were pumpkin, eggplant, ultramarine, gold and racing green. One day while he was feeding the peacocks, Raj had a fantastic idea on how to get money for his family. He had noticed that there were lots of tourists that came to India and bought many souvenirs, like miniature Taj Mahal paperweights and brightly coloured peacock feathers. He wanted to sell something special and since he had a special friendship with Sima, he would ask her if he was allowed to pluck and sell her feathers. Raj knew she would not let him down, Raj also knew the tourists would buy them, because they are from a Maharaja’s very own peacock, so are very special. Raj was so excited to ask her if he could sell her feathers to get money for his family. The next day, as soon as he arrived at work, he asked her and as he had predicted, she said yes. He set up his little stall and plucked a few of her feathers every day. Each day as the tourists passed the hotel they would stop for ages to admire and buy the amazing peacock feathers.
When Raj had picked and sold the last feather, Sima realised that he had only been friends with her for her feathers and that their friendship would be over now that Raj had sold all of her magnificent feathers. Her ear-piercing cried could be heard throughout the whole city.
Ahana Ogle (Year 8)