Poetry and Rain: A Bit of a Ramble

rainy day

Mouse doesn’t understand why I’m outside in the rain


Dancin’ In The Rain

So what if it drizzles
And dribbles and drips?
I’ll splash in the garden,
I’ll dance on the roof.
Let it rain on my skin,
It can’t get in-
I’m waterproof.

~Shel Silverstein


The promised rainstorms arrived in earnest late last week. What a welcome relief. Locals refer to these tropical storms as the Pineapple Express. They arrive from Hawaii, drenching us in warm rains, instead of the colder storms that push down from the north. You would never know it was February.

I reveled in the refreshing, cleansing rain and I’m sorry to see it go so soon.

The week ahead promises record-breaking heat in its place. I find it disorienting adjusting to this new normal.

Poetry is Dead

[The opinions that follow are not necessarily those of the blogger, nor do they reflect the opinion of our funder.] Funder? Oh I crack myself up.

On the drive home yesterday, my youngest son mentioned his school assignment: find and memorize a poem for a poetry slam. Both he and his older brother think that poetry is dead. “No one writes Greek poetry any more, Mom.”

I happen to like poetry. I defended my opinions and pointed out that the songs they love are poetry set to music. They weren’t convinced. The conversation ended when we got out of the car. Clearly I was outnumbered. But today when I rediscovered Silverstein’s poem the memories flooded back. My boys may have forgotten all those years we snuggled with a good book (including poetry), but I know that all that early reading laid a foundation deep within their brains. I read to those boys every night, many an afternoon, in book stores and in libraries. The backseat of the car always had a stash of books and I kept tiny books in my purse.

Poetry isn’t dead. It’s merely on an extended holiday, along with the rain. In the interim, I’ll drum my fingers to the rhythm of “it’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring.” Across the room, my son’s Beats™ go on.

38 thoughts on “Poetry and Rain: A Bit of a Ramble

  1. It will do them no good Alys – try as they might, deny as they will, those words, poems, images and sounds will eventually reappear in their man sized brains and, at some later stage in their lives, will find themselves murmuring words and clapping rhythms and rushing to look something up on wikipedia because they suddenly need to know who it was who wrote that poem…… Someday – if you and they are fortunate enough, there will be another generation of children and your little denyers will be discussing learnedly with you the good books thrown up from the recesses of their childhood memories.

    So, I say, let them say the Greeks are dead. It just shows how much they still have to learn. The show, as they say, is not over til the fat lady sings! [And I still have no idea what that means which just proves I still have much to learn!] 🙂

    I’m glad some rain came. Did you know my little part of the world has become sub tropical this summer? We have had quite exciting weather going on 🙂 Heat, steam, winds, thunderstorms, heat, winds, thunderstorm, steam. heat, thunderstorms, steam and winds …. you get the picture.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Pauline, I love all that you’ve had to say. It’s been said before that teenagers ‘know everything’. Then we grow up and realize how little we knew, and how much there is to know, today, tomorrow and on word. And yes, young men certainly beat to a different drum. Why are girls raised to be romantics when boys are not? Honestly, it seems like a recipe for disappointment all around. Yet, think of all the famous men that have written poetry throughout the ages. I’m sure there are men writing it now…and certainly lyrics to songs prove that.

      In the end, I’m glad they are bright and well mannered, and further, that they can actually converse on the subject of poetry, even if they currently find it irrelevant.

      Gracious, what a crazy summer you’re having. It sounds really uncomfortable too, as that combination of heat and moisture makes for sticky humidity. It’s like the wind chill factor in reverse: the moisture makes it feel hotter. You poor thing. I’m glad we’re hitting DC before the summer humidity descends there. It would be a shame to live it twice in one year.

      Here is a theory or two as to why the ‘fat lady sings’: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/it-aint-over-until-the-fat-lady-sings.html

      Liked by 1 person

      • While an interesting stab at the origins – I know it is an old saying because I knew it as a child growing up i the fifties. It was commonly used by the parents in the community whenever anybody asked – or moaned – ‘when does this finish?’ ‘When the fat lady sings’ was a common response which was either telling someone to politely be quiet or the responder didn’t know the answer to the question. I have heard it associated with the opera and especially the Wagnerian opuses -opii? – once all opera singers were rather tubby 🙂 It’s an intriguing little saying isn’t it! Thanks for another link when it hasn’t occurred to me to look anything up 🙂


  2. We are getting the oddest weather as well. I’m so glad to hear you did get some of that rain. I was afraid it all went north of you. We will have temps in the 60’s this week! In February! What is that all about? We had wind and thunder for 2 days that was awesome to watch but messed with my ions so I got very little done.

    As for poetry, I don’t fully understand how it works but love a great deal of it. Yes, it’s in most song lyrics. We just have to see how poetry is relevant in today’s world. Very few guys can admit to liking poetry. Most of their minds don’t work that way anyway.

    Mouse is so cute. My son went to a bicycle store today and they had a shop cat the ran up to him to be petted. He’s never seen such a thing.


    • Marlene, it sounds like your storm came from Hawaii as well. Is that also unusual for you this time of year? We’re expecting 70’s and even low 80’s F this week. Mind boggling.

      Shop cats are usually fed up with all the handling, so you’re right, quite an unusual experience for your son. What fun, too!

      I spent time outdoors during the storms. I was in the garden, and also helped a friend move. We just loaded and unloaded boxes with the rain coming down, wearing light t-shirts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I chuckled when you mentioned that you would perhaps have record heat coming, while I am freezing over here in Cleveland, OH in 20 degree temps! Brrrr. Send some heat our way, will ya? Poetry is not dead either! You can find poetry everywhere! Even when I am sitting here watching the snow come down and it covers everything in all white – that is poetry!


  4. The Pineapple Express – well isn’t blogging just the best for teaching me about things I have never heard of! How wonderful that this funny sounding weather phenomenon brought you some much needed rain. I’ll bet your beautiful garden breathed a sigh of relief. I would love to know what Mighty Mouse’s internal dialogue was when you were outside working in the rain! Great photo of him! Do you know my fondest memories of when my children were really little is reading to them before bed. I think you have given your boys something so special that will reward them for the rest of their lives. Here’s to more rain and poetry! xoxoxox

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dani, it does sound funny, doesn’t it. It’s one of those terms I’ve heard for so long, that I didn’t give it much thought till this week. I was amazed to find a wiki entry on the whole thing and learned a thing or two there as well. I love reading and researching, and think I could spend hours doing it if I had the time.

      I’m glad you liked the photo of Mighty Mouse. He was quite agitate as the rain got heavier and heavier. When I raced back toward the house, he ran after me, clearly not enamored of the rain. Since he’s only five and the drought is entering its fourth year, he just hasn’t had much experience with ‘wet stuff falling out of the sky.”

      I’m with you on the reading at bed time. I was really sad when they announced “I can take if from here, mom”. But…but…

      Yes, more rain and more poetry. And a lovely visit from you. xox

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m sure they will rediscover poetry and their love of books and reading one day. I think once the seed is sown…..
    Glad to hear you have had some rain, and I hope you can stay cool when the heatwave arrives. It’s just above freezing here, and the snow is turning to slush! 😉


    • Thank you, Cathy. I hope so. Reading gives me so much pleasure and has my entire life. I like technology, too, but see it as a way to read, write and connect with people I wouldn’t otherwise meet. There is room for both.

      I just came from your blog and saw all that snow, with your vase in the middle of it. You’ve been a dedicated, In a Vase on Monday blogger. Well done. It won’t be long now till that snow turns to spring.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, darn. Slush isn’t much fun at all. We had a string of warm days, the likes of which I’ve never seen. T-shirt weather. It finally cooled off today to a more seasonal norm. Still hoping for rain, but none in the forecast for the next seven days. I know you’re ready for spring, Cathy. That said, you’re still pulling vases out of your magical garden. Nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. How bout a little cowboy poetry for those fellas? That is some of the sweetest music to my ears. Although, my favorite for the last couple of years is Billy Elliot’s poem about a dog. Surely the boys would succum to his talent. http://www.ted.com/talks/billy_collins_two_poems_about_what_dogs_think_probably?language=en
    I had my kids memorize a poem a week for most of their years between 5 and 12. Boy oh boy, did that help with their ability to memorize school info later on.
    But it’s not for everyone. A slam by any other name may not equate to a slam dunk. 😛


  7. So glad about the rain! I love that it’s called the Pineapple Express … I can almost feel the warmth.
    My book group, for years, would have Poetry Night annually. Some didn’t come, but even those who would not consider themselves poetry lovers enjoyed the evening.
    Keep on teaching and encouraging, Alys. The enjoyment of it will return, even if just in the form of soothing memories of hearing Mom’s voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwww…what a lovely thing to say.

      I love that your book group has a poetry night. What a great idea! I’m going to float that one with my group too. Thanks for the great suggestion.

      Thanks for all your support.


  8. Happy Valentines Alys! I see I’m 4 days behind and we’ve Skyped since the rain but I’m still glad you got some and it was a warm and gentle one rather than a wicked storm. There’s actually a weather phenom’ that we’re known for too, although no one likes it. It’s called an ‘Alberta Clipper’. Generally a cold and windy blast of arctic air that shoots down from the Polar to the prairies on the Leeward side of the Rockies, then we send it flying out to blanket North Eastern Canada and the US with terrible weather. Oh Joy! You’re welcome…LOL. Maybe we could rename it the Pineapple Clipper and fool people?

    Cute photo Collage. Of course Mr Mighty Mouse is the star…..ooooh that face is just so cute. I spotted your lantern too 😀 One wouldn’t guess it’s size by the photo here, snicker. Are those little Muscari’s getting ready to bloom?

    As you know, I have always loved writing little rhymes. I really don’t think of them as poems I guess but maybe a little poemy. My favourite writer of such things is A A Milne and Dr Seuss. Not exactly highbrow literature but with appealing lessons for young and old, I find them timeless. My favourite music is the singer-songwriter genre. I think these artists are todays poetry writers, their words often move me to my soul. I also find it easier to remember words in song than straight poetry. I mean, how many songs must we know off by heart? Well now, my message is about as long as your post, LOL Thinking of you with ton’s of love ❤ k/p/b


    • You’re rhymes are poetry! I love them and I love you. I also love A. A. Milne and get a kick out of the fact that I’m A. A. Milner. Dr. Seuss is genius. I used to read all his books as I was putting them away in the school library. I loved that job and thought I might be a librarian one day.

      I read lots of Milne to the boys when they were young, especially C.

      One of my favorite Seuss quotes is “Those that mind, don’t matter and those that matter, don’t mind.” Isn’t that a good one?

      So true about learning the words to songs faster than poetry. The music really carries us along. Are you a fan of Sam Smith? I really love his music.

      Pineapple Clipper! Ha, you are so funny. You really have to be cut of a certain cloth to bear those Northern winters. Brrrrrrrrrr

      We had crazy warm weather last week, and even broke a record on Wednesday or Thursday. Mid seventies F for days. Today was damp and twenty degrees cooler, much more in line with the norms, but alas, no more rain. I’ve got bulbs popping up all over the garden.

      Thank you for reading and for your generous comments. Love you to bits.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gasp! You are A. A. Milner (she’s thinking, “that’s me alright”) ! That’s just so fun, I hadn’t put that together at all, LOL. It’s that forest for the trees thingy. I wonder if your mom and dad had named you with that in mind. Were they also big Winnie fans?

        With your love of books, I think you would have made a great librarian. That’s the perfect quote “those that mind don’t matter…….” . Exactly! Young and old need to remember that.
        I’m not familiar with Sam Smith, so I checked him out. He’s pretty mellow isn’t he? I guess I had heard ‘Stay With Me’ before. I played the one with Mary J, that was nice. Did you know he sings a song called ‘Nirvana’? ta ta xoxox


        • Isn’t that funny? I don’t think my parents realized, or if they did, they never mentioned it. I’m named after my dad’s only sister, Alys and my mom’s older sister, Ann. I don’t even remember Winnie the Pooh from my childhood, yet I chose it as the theme for my own little robin. He also had a beloved Pooh bear that went everywhere for awhile. Ah the memories.

          Thanks for the Sam Smith link. I just listened to him now. He’s so young and yet look at his poise and talent. I heard him interviewed a month or so ago and he was sweet and humble, really a delight.

          Liked by 1 person

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