Treasure Island

Edward Thomas

(3 March 1878 - 9 April 1917 / London / England)

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Rain


Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Read poems about / on: solitude, sympathy, rain, thanks, water, pain, death, night, love, remember

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  • Charlotte Gunther (3/8/2014 4:30:00 PM)

    midnight thoughts and remembering those you once loved- do they feel the midnight rain? there is hope? hope seen in the cold dead reeds that just might hide life after death- which he claims to love. He loves death because life has disappointed him, death will not- not now after the rain has cleansed him.
    this poem is like the half-awake, half-formed thoughts that come during a midnight rain. (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (3/7/2014 9:15:00 PM)

    .......a wonderful tribute to the rain...the simple things like listening to the rain and feeling the warm sun is what is most important in life....love this write... (Report) Reply

  • Ndimele.g. Ancientsword (3/7/2014 6:59:00 PM)

    Edward thomas is a lonely man, helpless among d livin nd d dead awake in d midnight listening to d heavy rain he describe as ' Wild Rain, a tempest' either in pain or thus in sympathy. that makes him remember that life is once as death is inevitable, is a sure thing that wll definately take place nd whn it does 'neither will hear d rain nor give it thanks' but seize d given chance to pray and thankful for none he had loved to b in sound mind. Also made us know 'blessed are d dead rain rains upon. (Report) Reply

  • Soulful Heart (3/7/2014 7:15:00 AM)

    Solitude and the pain of lonliness...d anticipation of death all hammered together tightly....a despotic poem yet heis thankful that none of his loved ones are hurt today.... (Report) Reply

  • Hardik Vaidya (3/7/2013 1:50:00 AM)

    It is the most sensitive poems i have read. and what touches me about this poem is its almost imperceptible presence. quite a stark contrast to the raw and humngous presence of a Neruda poem for example. i dont think there are dark poems or dark phases. there are mere dark bends. or perhaps episodes needing the absence of light to leave the din of brightness out to help focus back. i think Edward Thomas is focusing back in this poem. perhaps the last few lines are pure sarcasm, he has no love for death, he has no love for the rain washing away, and he is convinced that the rain has not washed away a farthing from him. (Report) Reply

  • M. Laws (3/7/2011 7:00:00 PM)

    much prefer Wordsworth's Daffodils but couldn't seem to post on that.... (Report) Reply

  • Joey Valenzuela (3/7/2010 10:54:00 PM)

    solitude....

    i agree with terence....

    '''solitude”—are early expressions of the alienation articulated by twentieth century writers.’ '''

    know 'one hundred years of solitude' by columbian novelist gabriel garcia marquez? ... about war and alienation.... (Report) Reply

  • Joey Valenzuela (3/7/2010 10:47:00 PM)

    if edward thomas lived in a war, then it could be possible that the RAIN indicates the bullets. and therefore, the sound it makeson our roofs signifies the noices(gunfires here, gunfires there)

    Remembering again that I shall die
    And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
    For washing me cleaner than I have been
    Since I was born into this solitude..

    this signifies the chance to die in a war.

    .the 'washing me cleaner than i have been since i was born into this solitude' signifies the effect of the rain (war) to the narrator...and solitude means fear/loneliness. thus he was born in a war, or maybe live...

    Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
    But here I pray that none whom once I loved
    Is dying to-night or lying still awake
    Solitary, listening to the rain,

    'blessed are the dead' because they can no more experience the fear of war
    'but here i pray that none whom once i loved is dying tonight'-the narrator wishes that his loved ones(family, maybe) are safe...
    'or lying still awake...listening to the rain' this one signifies the wish of the narrator that no one would be wounded...if you're wounded, you can do nothing but lie, and just listen to what is happening....

    'among the living and the dead, ' signifies no exact fate in a war...

    Like me who have no love which this wild rain
    Has not dissolved except the love of death,

    'the love of death' signifies the will and courage to fight.

    If love it be towards what is perfect and
    Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

    in this last two lines the narrator wishes that the result of the war is goodness ('perfect') and not 'disappointment' (Report) Reply

  • Terence George Craddock (3/7/2010 6:19:00 PM)

    Interesting that Michael imagines ‘that he (Edward Thomas) composed this melancholy poem while on a training exercise with the Royal Garrison Artillery in England’ in 1916 on the run, when it is a later poem. Why not check the dates, all his poems were dated, if the date matters? To quote three different critics, ‘He is commonly considered a war poet, although few of his poems (only 13) deal directly with his war experiences. ‘In just two years, he wrote over 140 poems. Written during wartime, while serving as a soldier, much of his work blends and shifts between meditative recollections of his beloved countryside and his experiences in battle.’
    ‘Thomas's poetry connects World War I to his prewar feelings that urbanization and industrialization were destroying the countryside and undermining country life and values.’ The romantic soliloquy, “Rain' 'in which the speaker, listening to the rain, remembers “again that I shall die / And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
    / For washing me cleaner than I have been / Since I was born into this solitude”—are early expressions of the alienation articulated by twentieth century writers.’
    ‘Although Thomas's poetry concerns war, it does not directly address his experiences in the trenches or display patriotic fervor.’ (Report) Reply

  • Gone Away (3/7/2010 11:35:00 AM)

    The tone of this poem is dark and given the circumstances you can understand why. It is lifted for me by the fact that he is able to think of others that he loves or loved once and hope for better things for them. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (3/7/2010 1:54:00 AM)

    Unwanted rain just as falling on stiff reed does not promote love but death only! The thought on the difference of liveliness and lifelessness rain has caused the poet to muse over and writer this poem which provokes thoughts on those matters! (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (3/7/2010 1:08:00 AM)

    A very bleak attitude. What seems missing is GOD in his life. With GOD a person is never alone in life. (Report) Reply

  • Jose Gallego (3/7/2006 1:07:00 PM)

    Thomas said 'like me who have no love which this wild rain', now we can say how much you were not understood and how much hard were your life; but not, i ´d rather say the rain is the milk that feed your soul, for you I now it is enough. (Report) Reply

Read all 17 comments »

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