Tag Archives: rainy days

Autumn Rain

(photo courtesy of Danilevici Filip-E. / secureroot)

 

The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain. This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you’d just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency. ~ Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons

I’m not sure a day and a half of gloomy skies and autumn rain qualifies as cozy, especially since I must be out in it running back and forth to errands, work, and such. Perhaps I’d feel more cozy about the rainy day if I were tucked away with a cup of coffee and a good book.

I know I’d be happier about it if I didn’t realize this marks the beginning of the end of autumn. Oh, I realize officially autumn doesn’t end until the start of the holiday season and the winter solstice, but autumn is fading. The leaves are past their peak, and these days of rain drive them off the trees to the ground, leaving starkly bare branches and piles of once-beautiful, now-brown foliage. While early autumn brings the vivid changes of green to magnificent color, late autumn, this autumn, brings changes from color to gloom – brown leaves, empty trees, and the knowledge that winter-white landscapes are not too far away.

So while looking out the window at the gray and gloomy day, here are a couple of poems to echo my mood.

“Rain In My Heart”
by Edgar Lee Masters

There is a quiet in my heart
Like on who rests from days of pain.
Outside, the sparrows on the roof
Are chirping in the dripping rain.

Rain in my heart; rain on the roof;
And memory sleeps beneath the gray
And the windless sky and brings no dreams
Of any well remembered day.

I would not have the heavens fair,
Nor golden clouds, nor breezes mild,
But days like this, until my heart
To loss of you is reconciled.

I would not see you. Every hope
To know you as you were has ranged.
I, who am altered, would not find
The face I loved so greatly changed.

“Chanson d’automne” (“Autumn Song”)
by Paul Verlaine
(Translated from the original French)

The long sobs
Of the violins
Of Autumn
Wound my heart
With a monotonous
Languor.

All choked
And pale, when
The hour chimes,
I remember
Days of old
And I cry

And I’m going
On an ill wind
That carries me
Here and there,
As if a
Dead leaf.

How do you pass gloomy, rainy autumn day?

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Mud-luscious

i thank You God for most this amazing

day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes

— E.E. Cummings (Selected Poems)

Rain seems common these days. This year, spring and early summer has been rain-filled, more so than I remember it being for a while. I don’t think I’ve ever not had to water my flowers for so long in all my years of gardening. While I’m not a great fan of the scorching summer days that can normally be found around here, there are moments when I’d like to see some sun. Watching the news, my heart breaks for all the losses suffered by strange weather lately, tornadoes and floods included.

But it also brought to mind the fun-filled days of childhood, playing out in the rain, stomping in puddles, and getting absolutely, completely, downright dirty in the mud. The puddle-wonderful, mud-luscious moments.

If you’ve browsed this site before, you might recall that E. E. Cummings is one of my favorite poets. I love his unexpected playfulness, his way of making you see words and punctuation in ways different from how you normally see them. Whenever I read his poetry, I always go back to my work wanting to make it tighter, the word choices better, the prose more lyrical. The Poetry Foundation has a marvelous biographical and critical article if you are interested in learning more about his life and his contributions to poetry.

In the meantime, on this rainy day, I’ll share a couple of my favorites with you here.

Chansons Innocentes: I
by E. E. Cummings

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s
spring
and
the
goat-footed

balloonMan whistles
far
and
wee

anyone lived in a pretty how town
by E. E. Cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

If you’re interested in hearing Cummings read this poem, the audio is available at The Poetry Archive. For more excellent lines and quotes from Cummings, check out the entries on Goodreads.

If you have a favorite poem or poet, please share it with us! I’m always looking for new things to pass the time on these mud-luscious days.

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Rain, Rain

Dayton, Ohio Flood March 1913

Flood Waters, Dayton, OH, March 1913

According to the U.S. Geological Survey of the most significant floods of the twentieth century, the flood waters which swept across the State of Ohio in late March 1913 rank at the top of the list.  Statewide deaths topped more than 450, and the approximate cost was $143 million.

Dayton, as you can tell from the picture above, was not immune from the flood.  In fact, Dayton, which sits on the Great Miami River, was hard hit.  Flood waters covered a large portion of downtown and the surrounding area.  There are still water marks visible on some of the downtown buildings.

But Daytonians are hardy folks.  And they did what generations of Midwestern folks have done in the wake of tragedy:  they came together, worked to help each other, and to plan that it would never happen again.

If you live in or near Dayton these days, the dam system created by the Miami Conservancy District in the aftermath of the 1913 Dayton flood has helped retain the waters from rising to such destruction again.  Especially given all the rain over the past days and weeks.  Some moments it feels like it must have during those long rainy end of March days in 1913…..  will it ever stop?

But then I pause and remember all the good the rain can do.  How the farmers and flowers appreciate the rain, how the world feels washed and clean, renewed when the heavens dry and clouds clear.  And the words of Langston Hughes came to mind:

Let the rain kiss you.  Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.  Let the rain sing you a lullaby.  

So despite the rainy day(s), here’s hoping you and I can can pause and listen to the lullaby.

[Note: This post is #18 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button at the lower left of the page for more information.]

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