Why Poets Have All the Fun


Rain falls on her parade, and she cries and curses.  Rain floods his garden, and he swears he’ll never plant again, a farmer’s folly. Rain clouds hover over her head, and she settles into the nooks of her familiar despair.

Those are three responses.

To excel, we often need a wide repertoire of responses when faced with challenges. Sometimes we need surprising sources to shift our responses.

Again, those are three responses, and then there are these:

The rain returned.
It didn’t come from the sky
or out of the West:
it came straight from my childhood.
Night split open, a peal of thunder
rattled, the racket
swept every lonely corner,
and then
the rain came,
rain returning
from my childhood,
a raging gust,
a planet’s
– sung by Pablo Neruda, from his “Ode to Rain”

All night the sound
had come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.

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.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.
-sung by Robert Creeley, from his “The Rain”

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands
– sung by e.e. cummings, from his “somewhere i have never traveled gladly,beyond”

These three guys sing rain. They get to have all the fun with rain. Why?

One, I suspect they keep priming that capacity to love the world, especially the parts that other people curse. Where others gripe about wet shoes, these guys find puddlicious days to romp through.

Two, they find music in the sky’s heartbeat.

Three, their rain woos their lovers.

You can sing it anyway you want, but whatever your circumstances or creative challenge or frustration today, try to find the music, however faint.


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