By Edward Thomas 1878–1917
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Death and Resurrection by Toru Takemitsu
By Robert Creeley 1926–2005
All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.
What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
so often? Is it
that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me
something other than this,
something not so insistent—
am I to be locked in this
Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out
of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
with a decent happiness.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Jardins sous la pluie by Claude Debussy
A Prayer for Rain
By Lisel Mueller b. 1924
Let it come down: these thicknesses of air
have long enough walled love away from love;
stillness has hardened until words despair
of their high leaps and kisses shut themselves
back into wishing. Crippled lovers lie
against a weather which holds out on them,
waiting, awaiting some shrill sign, some cry,
some screaming cat that smells a sacrifice
and spells them thunder. Start the mumbling lips,
syllable by monotonous syllable,
that wash away the sullen griefs of love
and drown out knowledge of an ancient war—
o, ill-willed dark, give with the sound of rain,
let love be brought to ignorance again.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Prelude for String Orchestra by Gerald Finzi
By Kazim Ali b. 1971
With thick strokes of ink the sky fills with rain.
Pretending to run for cover but secretly praying for more rain.
Over the echo of the water, I hear a voice saying my name.
No one in the city moves under the quick sightless rain.
The pages of my notebook soak, then curl. I’ve written:
“Yogis opened their mouths for hours to drink the rain.”
The sky is a bowl of dark water, rinsing your face.
The window trembles; liquid glass could shatter into rain.
I am a dark bowl, waiting to be filled.
If I open my mouth now, I could drown in the rain.
I hurry home as though someone is there waiting for me.
The night collapses into your skin. I am the rain
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Festina Lente for Strings & Harp by Arvo Part
By Khaled Mattawa b. 1964
The radio blares “Dialogue of Souls,”
and the woman who hated clouds
watches the sky.
Where is the sea now? she asks.
Where is it from here?
What is its name?—
this rain on a morning ride to school,
winter, my seventh year,
my father driving
through rain, his eyes fixed on a world
of credit and debt. On the
radio, devotion to
the lifter of harm from those who despair,
knower of secrets with the knowledge of certainty.
Not even the anguish of those
years, the heavy
traffic, cold and wind could have
touched me. I was certain the palm
holding me would be
struck again. Chance allows
for that and for stars to throb
in reachable depths.
Filled with grief bordering happiness,
I didn’t care if I was safe,
whether the storm
was over, only that it came, the slash
of lightning, the groaning sky,
and the storms we made,
how rain stripped everything of urgency,
how to the lifter of harm rise
those who despair.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Dialogue of Souls by Riyad Sunbati