Rain on the Roof Summary by Coates Kinney

The poem appreciates the music of natural rain and the chastening effect it has on human emotions and imagination. The sounds and lyrics of rain are described in a rhythmic and alluring manner to help soothe and amuse the heart and mind.

Poet in Cottage

The poet is resting in his cottage room when he observes the dark rain-bearing clouds engulf the night sky. The darkness is foreboding (fearful) and makes the poet desolate and morose.

In such feeling of sadness, the poet buries himself in the pillow and immerses himself in the musical patterns of the dropping rain.

Now the poet observes the interplay between droplets and the shingles on the roof. He is so ecstatic that even his heartbeat finds resonance with the pattern of the rain.

Inspired by the music of the rain, the poet is lost in his old memories that start flooding back. They are fused and unclear, a mixture rather than discrete memories.

Sweet Memories

The poet reminisces about his love-filled childhood. First he remembers his doting mother who would visit him late at night to gaze at him while slept. She could not take her eyes off her child as she feared not seeing him till next dawn.

She would lower herself and give a peck on his forehead and shower him with all her motherly care. Thus, the rain enlivens the poet’s memory with the most intimate and sacred moments of his life.

Next, the poet remembers his brother and sister who would come to his bed late at night. They would circle around him and then they would gently wake him up. Then would chat together and appreciate each other’s good deeds.

They would also correct his mistakes if need be but most of it was about concern, affection and encouragement. These old images nurse the poet’s sadness inflicted heart. The music of the rain keeps bringing alive a photographic film of his best and happiest moments.

Sad Memories

But soon the poet is also reminded of a painful experience. The beautiful but deceiving eyes of his lover, the woman of his affections, flashed across his eyes. He loved her immensely even though she broke his heart and trust.

However, the poet chooses to remember the joy he felt in the embrace of his pure and fervid love for her. Thus, the rain played a harmony of happy and sad notes in his heart.

Rain on the Roof

Finally, the poet gives an assessment of the music he has been listening to, the patter of the faking rain. For him, it is divine and truthful, much more powerful that the music created by man synthetically.

It is organically soft and calm and not loud and boisterous. It dominates all other sounds but with a sense of serenity and refined.

Yet the emotional responses that nature’s melodious notes stimulate are more potent and powerful than the man-made sounds. It is invigorating, curative and emotionally gratifying.