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There Will Come Soft Rains -- Sara Teasdale

(Poem #223) There Will Come Soft Rains
 There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
 And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

 And frogs in the pools singing at night,
 And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

 Robins will wear their feathery fire,
 Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

 And not one will know of the war, not one
 Will care at last when it is done.

 Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
 If mankind perished utterly;

 And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
 Would scarcely know that we were gone.
-- Sara Teasdale
This is probably Teasdale's best-known poem, though, I feel, more for the
message than because it stands out as a poem. The notion that Man is rushing
headlong towards his own destruction is one that has embedded itself in the
racial consciousness ever since Hiroshima, and one that neither the cold war
nor an ever increasing sense of future shock have done anything to dispel.

Of course, one of the first writers to spring to mind is Bradbury, who has
written a number of stories on the theme, one of them[1] based explicitly on
the poem. However, there is a significant difference to be noted. Bradbury's
stories - and, indeed, those of a score of other sf writers - all convey a
profound sense of tragedy, of loss; which, of course, is hardly surprising.

Teasdale, on the other hand, manages to convey a sense of detachment, even
indifference. Indeed, one feels, the earth will neither know nor care that
mankind has come and gone. And that may be, in the final analysis, the most
disturbing prospect of all.

[1] 'There Will Come Soft Rains'; see
[broken link] for an analysis of
the story

Biography etc:

See the previous Teasdale poem, Morning, poem #113


49 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Brenden Matthews said...

see "There will come soft rains" by Ray Bradbury from Adventures in Tomorrow, Greenberg publisher, New York, 1951


can I have permission to repost

ToniDuAZ said...

I have always loved this poem. Being of the nuclear war generation, it
always gives me peace to think that there is the possibility that even if man were
to annihilate man, perhaps the earth would only just sigh momentarily with our
passing and some type of Eden would exist without our chaos. This of course
precludes nuclear winter etc.


R K ROBERTS said...

its a great poem

Anonymous said...

I love this poem!!! it reads easy but there is such a deep, deep meaning. great author

Anonymous said...

It makes me realize that the world cold. It doesn't care if I'm happy, or sad. Wealthy, or poor. It continues whether Ive had a bad day, or the best day of my life. The world

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please qualify this "sometimes when I hear the wind, I can feel the call of the night, a call to turn into the being that everybody fear, a being made with darkness and the cold of the winter, the being inside is free to make anything...just watch me."

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