'The Rain' by Robert Creeley

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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 itthat never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for mesomething 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 outof the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Rain by Robert Creeley: A Close Reading

When it comes to modern American poetry, Robert Creeley is one of the most influential and celebrated poets of the 20th century. His poetry is known for its spare language, precise imagery, and emphasis on the rhythms and sounds of everyday speech. One of his most famous poems is "The Rain," a short but powerful meditation on the beauty and mystery of rain. In this essay, I will offer a close reading of "The Rain," exploring its themes, imagery, and language, and considering some of the ways in which it speaks to us as readers.

First Impressions: A Poem of Paradoxes

"The Rain" is a deceptively simple poem, consisting of just four short stanzas, each containing two lines. At first glance, it seems like a straightforward celebration of rain, with its gentle rhythms and soothing sounds. "The rain / falls / gently on the town," the poem begins, setting the tone and establishing the setting. But as we read on, we realize that "The Rain" is more complex than it first appears. The second stanza introduces a paradox: "The rain / makes still / pools on the sidewalk." How can something that is falling create stillness? This is just the first of many paradoxes that the poem will explore.

In the third stanza, we encounter another paradox: "the rain / is / a drum / on the roof." Once again, Creeley contrasts two seemingly contradictory ideas - the softness of rain with the percussive power of a drum. And in the fourth and final stanza, he offers yet another paradox, as he describes "the rain / is / a mixed / blessing." This phrase encapsulates the idea that rain can be both good and bad, depending on our perspective and circumstances.

The Language of Rain

As we dig deeper into "The Rain," we begin to appreciate the ways in which Creeley uses language to capture the complexity and beauty of rain. One of the most striking features of the poem is its use of repetition, with each stanza containing a variation of the phrase "the rain / is /." This repetition creates a sense of continuity and unity, while also emphasizing the poem's central theme - the endless variations and contradictions of rain.

Another aspect of the poem that stands out is Creeley's use of imagery. He uses sensory details to transport us to the scene of the rain, allowing us to feel and experience it for ourselves. We can hear "the sound / of the rain / mixed / with the sighs / of the people," and see "the umbrellas / go / by." We can even smell the rain, as it "fills / the dark cups / of the earth / with perfume." Creeley's use of imagery is precise and evocative, and it helps to create a vivid and memorable picture of rain in our minds.

Paradoxes and Meanings

As we reflect on the paradoxes and imagery of "The Rain," we begin to see that the poem is about more than just rain itself. It is a meditation on the complexity and ambiguity of life, and the ways in which opposing forces can coexist harmoniously. Rain, like life, can be both beautiful and dangerous, gentle and powerful, still and dynamic. By exploring these paradoxes, Creeley invites us to consider the many contradictions and tensions that make up our own lives, and to embrace them rather than trying to resolve them.

Another way to approach the poem is to consider its use of symbolism. Rain has long been a symbol of renewal and rebirth, and in "The Rain," Creeley seems to suggest that rain can also be a symbol of transformation and growth. The rain "fills / the dark cups / of the earth / with perfume," suggesting that even the darkest and most neglected parts of our lives can be nourished and revitalized by the rain's touch. This is a hopeful and optimistic message, one that encourages us to embrace the challenges and contradictions of life, and to see them as opportunities for growth and renewal.

Conclusion: A Poem That Resonates

As I reflect on "The Rain," I am struck by its simplicity and depth, its spare language and rich imagery. This is a poem that speaks to us on many levels, inviting us to consider the paradoxes and complexities of life, and to embrace them with open hearts and minds. Whether we see rain as a symbol of renewal or transformation, or simply as a beautiful and mysterious force of nature, "The Rain" is a poem that resonates with us, and will continue to do so for generations to come.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry has always been a medium for expressing emotions and feelings in a way that is both beautiful and profound. One such poem that has captured the hearts of many is "The Rain" by Robert Creeley. This classic piece of poetry is a perfect example of how a simple subject can be transformed into a work of art that touches the soul.

"The Rain" is a short poem that consists of only six lines. However, the brevity of the poem does not diminish its impact. In fact, it is the simplicity of the poem that makes it so powerful. The poem begins with the line "All night the sound had come back again." This line sets the tone for the rest of the poem. It creates an atmosphere of anticipation and mystery. The reader is left wondering what the sound is and why it has come back.

The second line of the poem reads, "and again falls this quiet, persistent rain." Here, the reader is introduced to the subject of the poem - rain. The rain is described as "quiet" and "persistent." These two words are important because they create a sense of contrast. Rain is usually associated with noise and chaos, but in this poem, it is portrayed as something peaceful and unobtrusive.

The third line of the poem reads, "All night I had been waiting for it to come." This line reveals the speaker's anticipation for the rain. The use of the word "waiting" creates a sense of longing and desire. The speaker is not just waiting for the rain to come, but they are also waiting for something else. This line is open to interpretation, and the reader can imagine what the speaker is waiting for.

The fourth line of the poem reads, "The rain, hard in the trees, now a murmur in the eaves." This line is a perfect example of how Creeley uses imagery to create a vivid picture in the reader's mind. The rain is described as "hard in the trees," which creates an image of raindrops hitting the leaves and branches of the trees. The second part of the line, "now a murmur in the eaves," creates a sense of intimacy. The rain is no longer outside, but it has found its way inside, and it is now a part of the speaker's world.

The fifth line of the poem reads, "The murmur fainter, fainter, gone." This line is a turning point in the poem. The rain, which was once a constant presence, is now fading away. The use of the word "fainter" creates a sense of loss and sadness. The speaker is not just describing the rain, but they are also describing their own emotions.

The final line of the poem reads, "And the voice in my head whispered, 'This is just the beginning.'" This line is a perfect example of how Creeley uses language to create a sense of ambiguity. The voice in the speaker's head could be their own thoughts, or it could be something else entirely. The use of the word "whispered" creates a sense of secrecy and mystery. The line also creates a sense of anticipation. The rain may be fading away, but something else is about to begin.

In conclusion, "The Rain" by Robert Creeley is a beautiful and powerful poem that uses language and imagery to create a vivid picture in the reader's mind. The poem is a perfect example of how a simple subject can be transformed into a work of art that touches the soul. The poem creates an atmosphere of anticipation and mystery, and it leaves the reader with a sense of longing and desire. The poem is open to interpretation, and each reader can find their own meaning in the words. "The Rain" is a classic piece of poetry that will continue to inspire and move readers for generations to come.

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