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“There Will Come Soft Rains” is a poem written by Sara Teasdale. It brings out the might of nature in the face of the trivialities of war.
About the Poet:
Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) was a prominent American lyric poet. She was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1917. Famous works of hers include “Helen of Troy”, “Flame and Shadow”, and “Dark of the Moon”.
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.
Before attempting to analyse the poem, it is important to remember that this poem was published right after the start of the 1918 German Spring Offensive during World War I. As opposed to the violence of the war thus, this poem aims to bring out the peace and calm associated with nature.
After the war, the poem states that rain and its earthy smell will arise. Frogs will sing and plum trees will bloom. Robins will whistle past in the sky and no one will remember the horrors of war no more.
Similarly, the birds and trees would not care for the perils that mankind had brought about for themselves. Spring, the poet concludes, would in fact not bother were we to be gone.
This is a thought-provoking poem. It shifts away from the anthropocentric view that humans possess that they are the pinnacle of creation. Rather, it puts nature on a pedestal.