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The Comforters -- Dora Sigerson Shorter

Guest poem submitted by P. G. Murthy:
(Poem #470) The Comforters
When I crept over the hill, broken with tears,
When I crouched down on the grass, dumb in despair,
I heard the soft croon of the wind bend to my ears,
I felt the light kiss of the wind touching my hair.

When I stood lone on the height, my sorrow did speak,
As I went down the hill, I cried and I cried,
The soft little hands of the rain stroking my cheek,
The kind little feet of the rain ran by my side.

When I went to thy grave, broken with tears,
When I crouched down in the grass, dumb in despair,
I heard the soft croon of the wind soft in my ears,
I felt the kind lips of the wind touching my hair.

When I stood lone by thy cross, sorrow did speak,
When I went down the long hill, I cried and I cried,
The soft little hands of the rain stroked my pale cheek,
The kind little feet of the rain ran by my side.
-- Dora Sigerson Shorter
Death joins hands with sorrow seeking comfort in loneliness and nature. The
anguish of needless death is present all around us even after centuries of
culture, religion and the thin veneer of civilisation. Therein is the quiet
relevance of this simple poem.

The Comforters was written by Irish poet Dora Sigerson Shorter during the first
World War. It is believed that her death was hastened by the sufferings of the
war and the large numbers of the young and the innocent who laid down their
precious lives. In suffering and sorrow one tends to be with one self and turns
to nature. The poet has not relied on any pathetic fallacy but has gracefully
summoned the wind and the rain, two ancient agents of nature, to her assistance.
The soft wind and the gentle rain caress the face of the grieving soul  coming
alive, as it were, as friends in mourning. They act not as irritants but soothe
the lady in distress in sympathy with her: 'The kind little feet of the rain ran
by my side'.

This is a simple poem with a musical rhythm that is soothing to the ear.

P. G. Murthy

20 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Sodergren Ted said...

This poem reached me at a time of personal sorrow. It, in fact, comforted
me. I did not know Dora Sigerson Shorter's work until I read this on the
Minstrels. Since then, I've found a copy of her personal compilation of her
works The Sad Years. Thanks to the Minstrels, I have another favorite poet.
Her story is a sad one, her life too short, her work (to me) profound.
Ted

AvrilSilk said...

For over forty years I have remembered a line from a poem read at school -
'The soft little hands of the rain'. My sporadic attempts to find the poem
were never successful, but tonight I searched for that phrase, and found this
wonderful site! Thank you. This poem seems gentle, tender and simple, but it
evokes aspects of grief that are raw and terrible. Tonight I am thinking what
it means to be 'broken with tears.'

humna said...

The Best Poem Ever <3

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