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The poem “The Voice of the Rain” written by Walt Whitman is about the poet’s imaginary conversation with rain droplets. In the end, he says that his poetry is like the rain droplets as both of them play a crucial role in the world.

The poem is an open verse without any rhyme scheme. It lacks a specific form, metre and consists of single stanza having 9 lines.



The poet is in an imaginary conversation with the rain which he calls the soft-falling shower. He asks the rain, “And who art thou?” i.e. “who are you“. The poet uses “And” at the beginning which, I think, depict that the poet encounters it suddenly.

As he is talking to the rain in imaginations, he considers this conversation strange to tell yet he translates for the readers to understand what the rain answered. The rain tells the poet in her “voice” that she is the Poem of Earth. In a way, the sound of raindrops falling on the ground is “voice of rain” according to the poet which is musical.

The rain further tells the poet that it keep rising forever in the form of vapours which are impalpable i.e. untouchable out of the land and the bottomless sea to the heaven i.e. sky.

There, the vapours form clouds. Their form is changed yet their basic structure remains the same. Now the rain comes down to lave i.e. wash away the drouths i.e. droughts, atomies i.e dust particles and dust-layers of the whole world.

The rain says that if it did not have done so, the trees would have been just the seeds, unborn and undeveloped. It keeps giving life to its own origin i.e. it keeps doing the same process to make the earth pure and beautiful.

Poetry & Rain

In the final lines, the poet compares the rain with his poetry. According to him, the song i.e. poem rises from its birth-place i.e. the heart of the poet and goes from person to person who like it, criticise it and love it. Ultimately with it, comes love for the poet.

Hence the poet, in the poem, tries to show the significance of his poetry. As rain is to the earth, poetry is to man.

Further Reading

Read important questions and answers of this poem