The Collected Poems of Sara Teasdale
by Sara Teasdale
“look for a lovely thing and you will find it, it is not far, it never will be far”
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.
Sara Teasdale was born on August 8th in 1884 in St. Louis Missouri. In her short life of only thirty-eight years she published several books of poetry. In 1918 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book of Love Songs. The war referred to in the fourth stanza is, of course, The Great War that was destroying much of Europe when Sara was writing this poem. For such a short poem there are many literary devices used including imagery, alliteration, personification, and rhyme/rhythm. Ultimately the message is one that nature is eternal while humanity is ephemeral.
The title of this poem was used by Ray Bradbury as the title for the penultimate short story that he gathered in his book, The Martian Chronicles. I suggest that you read the book and the story and you will find out why he chose that title.
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