Archive for the ‘Sara Teasdale’ Tag
I love the rain. I love the feel of it, the sound of it, the smell of it. I love the way it changes the whole world in an instant, giving and giving and giving. When we lived in Massachusetts it would rain for days at a time, until the green woods around our home just shone with it. Here in Utah we don’t see it as much, and often it is just a whisper of rain, passing by in an instant. But then there are the times when the dry air thickens, the clouds roll in, and the flat, dusty dirt bounces off the ground from the force of it pouring down.
One afternoon this past summer I decided to teach my kids about the rain. I brought them out to our backyard with their journals and a chart on “The hydrologic cycle.” It couldn’t just be called the water cycle because it came from the U.S. Geological Survey website. Very official.
After we’d figured out the difference between transpiration and evaporation we read poems about the rain. Poems that shared the experience of the rain through one of the five sense. One of my favorites was “April Rain Song” by Langston Hughes, anthologized in Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters’ Here’s a Little Poem (my favorite-ever book of poetry for children, thanks to Polly Dunbar’s wonderful illustrations). Here it is:
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night –
And I love the rain.
I also loved this line from “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Sara Teasdale:
There will come soft rains and the smell of ground,
And swallows calling with their shimmering sound.
I’m not sure if my children were as enthralled as I was. The fact is, they were on to me. Before we’d finished reading the four poems I had selected, my oldest, Hunter, interrupted me to ask, “Mom, are we going to have to write poems at the end of this?”
You betcha, Hunter. Here is what he wrote:
Rain, rain, I love the rain.
In a pace like a race, I love the rain.
Instead of writing a poem, Hattie made a list of the things she likes to do in the rain: setting cups out to catch the water, jumping in puddles, and walking with her umbrella.
My four year old, Sawyer? He just drew pictures of lightening bolts. When I prodded him to give me a reason why he likes the rain, this is what I got: “The rain waters the plants so I don’t have to.”
But here is the magical part of all of this. When we began our little lesson, the sky was sunny and blue and dry – dry as the scrub oak that grows wild around us. Then, as soon as we finished writing about the rain and sharing what we’d written with each other, dark clouds rolled across the sky, speeding toward us from the mountain tops on a rushing gust of wind. We heard the rumbling of the thunder before we felt the first fat drops. They came down slowly at first, making soggy punctuation marks on our pages. We all just sat there in the grass, watching the sky change, listening to the thunder. Hattie, her face turned up to catch the raindrops, smiled and said, “The whole world must have heard us!”