Friday, December 19, 2008


As I sit here on a break from some work projects, I listen to the soft sound of the rain beating against the window. I am mindful of how often rain gets a "bad rap" as folks equate it with dreary weather. Yet isn't it true that the nourishing quench of rain is the foundation of the beauty in the greenery that adorns nature? I think of a beautiful poem from the late, great Pulitzer Prize poet Conrad Aiken. I have always loved many of Conrad's poems. ... and perhaps they remind me of the beauty of Mary Oliver's writings on nature. ...

I share one of Conrad's poems here:

Beloved, Let Us Once More Praise The Rain by Conrad Aiken

Beloved, let us once more praise the rain.
Let us discover some new alphabet,
For this, the often praised; and be ourselves,
The rain, the chickweed, and the burdock leaf,
The green-white privet flower, the spotted stone,
And all that welcomes the rain; the sparrow too,

—Who watches with a hard eye from seclusion,
Beneath the elm-tree bough, till rain is done.
There is an oriole who, upside down,
Hangs at his nest, and flicks an orange wing,

—Under a tree as dead and still as lead;
There is a single leaf, in all this heaven
Of leaves, which rain has loosened from its twig:
The stem breaks, and it falls, but it is caught
Upon a sister leaf, and thus she hangs;
There is an acorn cup, beside a mushroom
Which catches three drops from the stooping cloud.
The timid bee goes back to the hive;
the fly Under the broad leaf of the hollyhock
Perpends stupid with cold; the raindark snail
Surveys the wet world from a watery stone...

And still the syllables of water whisper:
The wheel of cloud whirs slowly: while we wait In the dark room;
and in your heart I find One silver raindrop,—on a hawthorn leaf,
— Orion in a cobweb, and the World.

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