'Rain in Summer' by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!
How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!
Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!
The sick man from his chamber looks
At the twisted brooks;
He can feel the cool
Breath of each little pool;
His fevered brain
Grows calm again,
And he breathes a blessing on the rain.
From the neighboring school
Come the boys,
With more than their wonted noise
And down the wet streets
Sail their mimic fleets,
Till the treacherous pool
Ingulfs them in its whirling
And turbulent ocean.
In the country, on every side,
Where far and wide,
Like a leopard's tawny and spotted hide,
Stretches the plain,
To the dry grass and the drier grain
How welcome is the rain!
In the furrowed land
The toilsome and patient oxen stand;
Lifting the yoke encumbered head,
With their dilated nostrils spread,
They silently inhale
The clover-scented gale,
And the vapors that arise
From the well-watered and smoking soil.
For this rest in the furrow after toil
Their large and lustrous eyes
Seem to thank the Lord,
More than man's spoken word.
Near at hand,
From under the sheltering trees,
The farmer sees
His pastures, and his fields of grain,
As they bend their tops
To the numberless beating drops
Of the incessant rain.
He counts it as no sin
That he sees therein
Only his own thrift and gain.
These, and far more than these,
The Poet sees!
He can behold
Walking the fenceless fields of air;
And from each ample fold
Of the clouds about him rolled
The showery rain,
As the farmer scatters his grain.
He can behold
That have not yet been wholly told,--
Have not been wholly sung nor said.
For his thought, that never stops,
Follows the water-drops
Down to the graves of the dead,
Down through chasms and gulfs profound,
To the dreary fountain-head
Of lakes and rivers under ground;
And sees them, when the rain is done,
On the bridge of colors seven
Climbing up once more to heaven,
Opposite the setting sun.
Thus the Seer,
With vision clear,
Sees forms appear and disappear,
In the perpetual round of strange,
From birth to death, from death to birth,
From earth to heaven, from heaven to earth;
Till glimpses more sublime
Of things, unseen before,
Unto his wondering eyes reveal
The Universe, as an immeasurable wheel
In the rapid and rushing river of Time.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Rain in Summer: A Beautiful Ode to Nature
Poetry has been a medium of expression for human emotions since time immemorial. And when it comes to nature poetry, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Rain in Summer" stands out as a timeless classic. Written in 1860, this poem captures the beauty and power of nature and evokes a range of emotions in the reader. In this literary criticism and interpretation, we will explore the themes, symbolism, structure, and language of "Rain in Summer" to understand what makes it a masterpiece.
The central theme of "Rain in Summer" is the impact of nature on human emotions. Longfellow portrays rain as a rejuvenating force that washes away the weariness of life and brings a sense of freshness and renewal. He uses vivid imagery to describe how the rain transforms the world around us, from the parched earth to the blooming flowers. The poem also touches upon the idea of impermanence and the fleeting nature of life. The rain may come and go, but its impact on us remains forever.
Another theme that runs through the poem is the idea of unity in diversity. Longfellow describes how the rain brings together different elements of nature, such as the trees, the flowers, and the birds. He emphasizes the interconnectedness of all living beings and suggests that we must learn to appreciate and respect this harmony.
Longfellow uses a variety of symbols to convey his themes. The rain, for instance, is a symbol of life and growth. It represents the cyclical nature of existence and the idea that every end is a new beginning. The thunder and lightning, on the other hand, symbolize the power and energy of nature. They evoke a sense of awe and wonder in the reader and remind us of our own insignificance in the face of the natural world.
The trees and the flowers are also important symbols in the poem. They represent the diversity of life and the beauty that comes with it. The birds, meanwhile, symbolize freedom and the joy of living.
"Rain in Summer" is a free-verse poem that consists of 56 lines. It is divided into 11 stanzas, each with four or five lines. The poem follows an ABAB rhyme scheme, but Longfellow's use of enjambment and internal rhyme gives it a more fluid and natural feel.
The poem also has a cyclical structure, with the rain acting as a recurring motif throughout. Longfellow begins the poem by describing the oppressive heat of summer, then moves on to the arrival of the rain and its transformative effects. He then returns to the heat and the rain's eventual departure, but ends the poem on a hopeful note, suggesting that the rain will return again.
Longfellow's use of language is one of the highlights of "Rain in Summer". His vivid descriptions and sensory imagery transport the reader to the world he is describing. For example, in the first stanza, he writes:
"How beautiful is the rain! After the dust and heat, In the broad and fiery street, In the narrow lane,"
Here, Longfellow captures the contrast between the oppressive heat of summer and the refreshing relief of the rain. He uses alliteration and repetition to emphasize the beauty of the rain and its impact on the world around us.
Throughout the poem, Longfellow uses a mix of simple and complex language to convey his ideas. He employs metaphors and similes to create vivid images in the reader's mind. For instance, he compares the rain to "millions of diamonds" and the lightning to "golden arrows". These comparisons add depth and richness to the poem and make it a joy to read.
"Rain in Summer" is a beautiful celebration of nature and its power to transform our lives. Longfellow's use of symbolism, structure, and language create a vivid and immersive experience for the reader. The poem reminds us of the beauty and complexity of the natural world and encourages us to appreciate and respect it.
At the same time, "Rain in Summer" also has deeper philosophical implications. It suggests that life is cyclical and impermanent, but that this impermanence is what gives it meaning. The rain may come and go, but its effects on us are everlasting. The poem also highlights the interconnectedness of all living beings and the importance of embracing diversity and harmony.
In conclusion, "Rain in Summer" is a timeless classic that continues to inspire and enchant readers to this day. Longfellow's masterful use of language and imagery make it a joy to read, while its themes and symbolism make it a powerful meditation on the beauty and significance of nature.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Rain in Summer: A Classic Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Rain in Summer is a classic poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of the most celebrated American poets of the 19th century. The poem is a beautiful depiction of a summer rainstorm and its impact on the natural world. In this analysis, we will explore the themes, imagery, and language used in the poem to understand its deeper meaning and significance.
The poem begins with the speaker describing the onset of a summer rainstorm. The first stanza sets the tone for the rest of the poem, with the speaker describing the "sudden shower" that "drenches the boughs" and "beats upon the roof." The use of alliteration in this stanza creates a sense of urgency and excitement, as if the rainstorm is a force to be reckoned with. The speaker goes on to describe the "floods of glistening green" that the rain creates, painting a vivid picture of the natural world coming to life.
The second stanza of the poem shifts focus to the impact of the rain on the city. The speaker describes the "dull roofs" and "dusty streets" being transformed by the rain, as if the city is being washed clean. The use of personification in this stanza, with the rain "laughing" and "dancing" on the roofs, creates a sense of joy and playfulness. The speaker also notes the contrast between the "coolness" of the rain and the "heat" of the city, suggesting that the rain is a welcome relief from the oppressive summer weather.
The third stanza of the poem returns to the natural world, with the speaker describing the impact of the rain on the trees and flowers. The use of personification in this stanza, with the trees "nodding" and the flowers "smiling," creates a sense of life and vitality. The speaker also notes the contrast between the "dull" and "lifeless" world before the rain and the vibrant world that emerges after the rain.
The fourth and final stanza of the poem brings the focus back to the speaker, who is watching the rain from the safety of his home. The speaker notes the "pleasant sound" of the rain on the roof and the "sweet" smell of the wet earth. The use of sensory imagery in this stanza creates a sense of intimacy and connection between the speaker and the natural world. The poem ends with the speaker reflecting on the beauty and power of the rain, noting that it is a reminder of the "love of Heaven" for the earth.
One of the key themes of Rain in Summer is the power of nature to transform the world around us. The poem suggests that even something as simple as a summer rainstorm can have a profound impact on the natural world and the city. The rain is depicted as a force of renewal and rejuvenation, washing away the dust and grime of the city and bringing the natural world to life. The poem also suggests that the rain is a reminder of the beauty and power of the natural world, and of the love that the divine has for the earth.
Another important theme of the poem is the contrast between the natural world and the city. The speaker notes the dullness and lifelessness of the city before the rain, suggesting that it is a place devoid of vitality and energy. The rain, on the other hand, brings the city to life, transforming the dull roofs and dusty streets into a vibrant and playful world. The poem suggests that the natural world is a source of life and energy that is missing from the city, and that the rain is a reminder of this fact.
The language and imagery used in Rain in Summer are also worth exploring. Longfellow uses a variety of literary devices, including personification, alliteration, and sensory imagery, to create a vivid and engaging picture of the rainstorm. The use of personification, in particular, creates a sense of intimacy and connection between the natural world and the speaker. The rain is depicted as a living, breathing entity that interacts with the world around it, laughing and dancing on the roofs and nodding the trees.
The sensory imagery used in the poem is also noteworthy. Longfellow uses vivid descriptions of sound, smell, and sight to create a sense of immersion in the rainstorm. The sound of the rain on the roof is described as "pleasant," while the smell of the wet earth is described as "sweet." These sensory details create a sense of intimacy and connection between the speaker and the natural world, and help to bring the rainstorm to life in the reader's mind.
In conclusion, Rain in Summer is a classic poem that celebrates the power and beauty of nature. The poem suggests that even something as simple as a summer rainstorm can have a profound impact on the natural world and the city, transforming dull roofs and dusty streets into a vibrant and playful world. The language and imagery used in the poem create a vivid and engaging picture of the rainstorm, and help to create a sense of intimacy and connection between the speaker and the natural world. Rain in Summer is a timeless reminder of the beauty and power of the natural world, and of the love that the divine has for the earth.
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