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The Fitful Alternations of the Rain -- Percy Bysshe Shelley

(Poem #416) The Fitful Alternations of the Rain
 The fitful alternations of the rain,
 When the chill wind, languid as with pain
 Of its own heavy moisture, here and there
 Drives through the gray and beamless atmosphere
-- Percy Bysshe Shelley
A nice if somewhat bleak little fragment - I've always felt that if one must
endure bad weather, the thing to do is to endure it in style :) And there
does seem to be something about wind and rain that has inspired countless
fits of prose and poetry - whether due to the profound effect the weather
has on one's moods and emotions, or simply as an omnipresent reminder of the
sheer uncontrolled scale of nature (see links).

Though I do have to wonder why he rhymed 'there' with 'atmosphere' -
nice as Shelley's imagery may have been, the sound of his verse was
frequently less than perfect. (Of course, one could always argue that this
is better than technically perfect but not very poetic verse, and that
Shelley has quite rightly chosen the words he wanted to use to convey his
imagery first, and bothered about the form later; my point is that it's
perfectly possible to have both, and that someone writing structured verse
has an obligation to his readers to get it right).


 These are among the many short fragments from Shelley's MSS. published by
 Mary Shelley, the poet's wife, in her editions of 1824 and 1839. There she
 entitles this poem Rain



As promised, no shortage of poems about wind and rain:
  poem #226, poem #96, poem #117, poem #200.

There is, unsurprisingly, an overlap with sea poetry (one of my favourite
genres) - here are a couple of examples:
  poem #326, poem #27 (the excerpt at the end).

And what catalogue of gales and dark clouds would be complete without the
following poem? poem #343

- martin

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