There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale

There Will Come Soft Rains, Sara Teasdale’s little 12-line poem, impacted me years ago. And it still does.

It reads magnificently aloud. Try it.

Though there are few words and the structure is simple, it says a lot by implication. It could be, as many scholars suggest, be about nuclear war. The poem dates back to 1918, so although Teasdale would not have understood the hydrogen bomb, she would have understood WWI.

My belief is that she didn’t mean human extinction completely — globally, but locally. Either way, her point is clear: nature doesn’t care which side won the war. Nature will prevail.

Is it sober? Somber? Or joyous?

Incidentally, Teasdale died young. 48. Here’s her Wikipedia bio.

There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling 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.

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