There Will Come Soft Rains

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"There Will Come Soft Rains" is a 12-line poem by Sara Teasdale. The work was first published in the July 1918 issue of Harper's Magazine,[1] and later included in her 1920 collection Flame and Shadow[2] (see 1920 in poetry). The poem imagines nature reclaiming a battlefield after the fighting is finished. The poem also alludes to the idea of human extinction by war (lines 10 and 12)[citation needed], which was not a commonplace idea until the invention of nuclear weapons, 25 years later.

Text[edit]

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows calling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

The poem has six stanzas, each made up of a rhyming couplet in irregular tetrameters.

Influence[edit]

  • The poem is quoted, (lines 10 and 12) by the main character, in the 2016 film The Forest.
  • The poem featured in a radio adaptation of the Ray Bradbury Story, as "August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains", which was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 11 May 1977[4]. The adaptation, for "Narrator, Vocoder and Synthesizer" was by Malcolm Clarke (composer) of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
  • In the video game Fallout 3, a Mister Handy Robot recites this poem for the long dead children of the family he belonged to, the robot itself carrying out its daily routine as in the Bradbury story.
  • The Irish musician Tony Wright (VerseChorusVerse) used the poem as lyrics for a song of the same name. It was released as part of a double A side charity single for Help Musicians UK. [5]
  • The Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds used the poem as lyrics for a song of the same name. The Pacific Lutheran Choir of the West released a recording of it on their album, also of the same name, of works by Ēriks Ešenvalds.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harper's Magazine, vol. CXXXVII, p. 238 (July 1918), available at HathiTrust (visited July 29, 2017) or harpers.org (visited July 29, 2017, login required).
  2. ^ Macmillan 1920, pp. 89–90, available at Google Books (visited July 29, 2017)
  3. ^ Conversations with Ray Bradbury Ray Bradbury, Steven L. Aggelis, 2004, p. 107 1578066417 "The one that comes to mind first is 'There Will Come Soft Rains,' which is about a house in the future that goes on living after the city is destroyed"
  4. ^ Genome BETA Radio Times 1923 - 2009. August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains. Available at genome.ch.bbc.co.uk (visited 05 April 2020)
  5. ^ "STREAM: VERSECHORUSVERSE – HOLD ON (A SUBTLE ACT OF REBELLION)/THERE WILL COME SOFT RAINS". Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  6. ^ "There Will Come Soft Rains". YouTube. Retrieved March 28, 2020.

External links[edit]

There Will Come Soft Rains public domain audiobook at LibriVox