Monday, 23 July 2012

Day 32: Rain

 Another day of torrential rain and grey skies! O summer, where art thou??

And just when I think I can't take it anymore - along comes a poem that says hey, look at all the possibilities of rain. Look at the way it 'braids a windowpane.' And just like in films, look at how it sets the scene and the score. How it adds drama. And plentiful opportunities for emotional release: shouting, dancing, kissing, that just wouldn't exist in dry weather. 

And how we too, might 'rise up from the falling waters.'  Here's hoping!

Scottish bard Don Paterson, ladies and gentlemen:

Rain - Don Paterson

I love all films that start with rain:
rain, braiding a windowpane
or darkening a hung-out dress
or streaming down her upturned face;

one long thundering downpour
right through the empty script and score
before the act, before the blame,
before the lens pulls through the frame

to where the woman sits alone
beside a silent telephone
or the dress lies ruined on the grass
or the girl walks off the overpass,

and all things flow out from that source
along their fatal watercourse.
However bad or overlong
such a film can do no wrong,

so when his native twang shows through
or when the boom dips into view
or when her speech starts to betray
its adaptation from the play,

I think to when we opened cold
on a rain-dark gutter, running gold
with the neon of a drugstore sign,
and I’d read into its blazing line:

forget the ink, the milk, the blood—
all was washed clean with the flood
we rose up from the falling waters
the fallen rain’s own sons and daughters

and none of this, none of this matters.


  1. Great poem - I can still hear his voice reading it, can't you?! language and imagery you can almost hear - love 'braiding a windowpane' too. He captures that 'something' about rain perfectly...

  2. I can indeed - 'raa-in, braa-iding a window paa-ne' - in his Scott-ish accent, class!


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