a satisfying swish


He required a beautiful landscape outside his windows, but when he wrote music, the silence had to be absolute and all outside sound, and sunlight, had to be excluded by heavy curtains of the finest and costliest materials. They had to draw with "a satisfying swish."

I tried to rewirte the last sentence as follows;
The curtains had to flutter in the wind so that they could draw attention/look nicely.

Do I understand the last sentence correctly?
  • maxiogee

    No. The "swish" is the sound the curtains make as they are drawn. Good material and well-hung curtains are essential to getting that noise - they must close/open fluidly.

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    To draw here means to close. They had to close with emphasis, so he could feel that they were well and truly closed, excluding everything from outside.

    Usually draw would be used the other way around - someone draws the curtains, rather than the curtains draw. But the alternative, "it had to be possible to close them with a satisfying swish," is really awkward.