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The Rain -- Robert Creeley

Guest poem submitted by Aseem Kaul:
(Poem #1665) The Rain
 All night the sound had
 come back again,
 and again falls
 this quiet, persistent rain.

 What am I to myself
 that must be remembered,
 insisted upon
 so often? Is it

 the never the ease,
 even the hardness,
 of rain falling
 will have for me

 something other than this,
 something not so insistent -
 am I to be locked in this
 final uneasiness.

 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.
-- Robert Creeley
Every time I sit in my room watching the rain falling against the window,
letting my mind wander, this is the poem I'm most reminded of. I can't think
of a poem that captures more accurately that sense of floating restlessness
- the feeling that there is something deeply important to be deciphered out
of the gentle patter of the rain and the sight of the little droplets
trickling down the pane. How, in some way that you can't quite explain, the
rain is a metaphor for your life, the secret key to an uncertain happiness.
An emotion that is at once an overwhelming longing and the intuition of
beauty.

It's a truly exquisite poem - every line, every word sounds exactly right,
yet the overall thought is fragmented, barely hinted at. There's a sense of
earnest questioning here ("what am I to myself / that must be remembered /
insisted upon / so often?") but also an instinctive knowledge of what
happiness would feel like or how it could be brought about ("Love, if you
love me / lie next to me").

Robert Creeley died last Wednesday (30th March 2005). As I think about his
legacy, there's much in the write-ups that accompany his other poems on
Minstrels (Poem #552, Poem #1400) that I find myself agreeing with. What
will always make Creeley special to me, though, is his ability to "be, for
me, like rain / the getting out // of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the
semi-/ lust of intentional indifference.". His ability, in short, to "be wet
/ with a decent happiness."

Aseem.

64 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Raindropscome2me said...

Oh My god !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i have look for this poem for the past 10 years from the date i read it at a
book store and did not buy the book and forgot the name or author.
thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Rebecca Rough said...

correction: the original text reads as follows:

The Rain
ROBERT CREELEY

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

What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? Is it

that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me

something other than this,
something not so insistent—
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

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.

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