Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney is a master at crafting words. One of my favourite poets, I am particularly in awe of his ability to create the greatest sound effects in his poems.
Because it's raining today (for the past week actually), I chose 'The Rain Stick' as my poem today. Because rain can be quite magical as Heaney shows us in this poem. Note the sound effects. You can almost hear the rain, the sluice-rush and sprinkle of it. What this poet does brilliantly is create words of his own to capture a feeling, a sound, a sensation, like 'diminuendo' and 'glitter-drizzle.'
Fed up with the rain? A rain stick would be a good prop, but no matter. Look and listen to it again. This time, through the eyes and ears of a someone who sees it as wonder.
The Rain Stick - Seamus Heaney
Up-end the stick and what happens next
is a music that you never would have known
to listen for. In a cactus stalk
Downpour, sluice-rush, spillage and backwash
come flowing through. You stand there like a pipe
being played by water, you shake it again lightly
and diminuendo runs through all its scales
like a gutter stopping trickling. And now here comes
a sprinkle of drops out of the freshened leaves,
Then subtle little wets off grass and daisies;
the glitter-drizzle, almost-breaths of air.
up-end the stick again. What happens next
is undiminished for having happened once,
twice, ten, and thousand times before.
who cares if all the music that transpires
is the fall of grit or dry seeds through a cactus?
You are like a rich man entering heaven
through the ear of a raindrop. Listen now again.