Of all the events of nature, none has probably been written about more than rain. It is an essential element of life. Nations have risen and fallen because of it. It causes the grass to be green and gives life to every creature that graces the face of the planet. It causes the rivers to swell and the lakes to overflow their shores. When the storms rage, it descends upon the ground, causing floods and destruction. And then the opposite happens as well. The absence of rain causes the plants to wither and the rivers and lakes to recede into nothingness. The land becomes barren and the wind blows the sand and the soil wherever it will. Without doubt, rain is the most critical of all of nature’s offerings. So it is no surprise that it has such an honored place among authors and poets.
Poets routinely inspire other poets. Such was the case with Yehuda Amichai. This prominent poet was greatly influenced early on in his life by such noted British poets at T. S. Lewis, Dylan Thomas, and W. H. Auden. He received many awards over the years and was recognized by many as one of the greatest poets Israel has ever produced. His poems often deal with religious issues and feature his thoughts about God. His work is generally very descriptive and full of imagery. Here is one of his many poems, First Rain.
by Yehuda Amichai
Although I fully appreciate the wonderful works of well known poets, sometimes it’s pleasant to see some work done by lesser known writers. I came upon a blog regarding travel in South America. I confess, I was looking for South or Latin American poets who may have composed some pieces on the topic of rain; instead, I found this interesting poem in a blog which was posted by Tracy Chap. Although I have never been in South America, I know that there are extensive rain forests in much of the continent, so the weather is much like the tropics of the Philippines where I visit several times each year. I hope you enjoy this interesting poem.
Poetry in the Rain
by Tracy Chap
The final poem on the topic of rain that I’d like to share with you is written by American poet Sheldon Alan “Shel” Silverstein. Born in Chicago, Illinois, “Shel” was a highly respected children’s poet as well as cartoonist, singer/songwriter, and screen writer. For his children’s work, he used the moniker “Uncle Shelby”. His skills as a cartoonist likely influenced much of his children’s poetry. He admits that he never studied other poets’ works, developing his very own interesting at somewhat quirky style and delivery. He is well known for his songwriting, which was performed by such recognized musicians as Johnny Cash, Gordon Lightfoot and Dr. Hook, and that humorous, quirky style is evident there as well. Below is one of his children’s poems entitled simply, Rain.