The Voice of the Rain: Class 11 poem, In this article, you can read the summary and analyze the class 11 poem: The voice of the Rain
About the poet:
Name of the poet – Walt Whitman(1819-1892)
Walter Whitman was an American poet, essayist, and journalist.
Other famous works – “O captain, My captain”, “When Lilac’s Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”
To know more about the poet – Click here
Theme of the poem: The Voice of the Rain
The theme of the poem voice of the rain is how magnificent the role rain plays in making the world lively and rejuvenates life every time it hits the earth. The rain does appreciate the favors and returns to the place from where it originated.
The poem begins with a question- “And who art thou?” which means “who are you”. The poet asks this to the lightly falling rain and it replies that “I am the Poem of Earth”. the rain is described as impalpable which means that it cannot be touched as she sores high above from the bottomless sea and gets dissolved forming clouds and mist. It transforms its physical nature and yet remains the same. The rain comes back to nourish the dry land and to suppress the dust storms emerging because of the high-paced developments taking place.
It rejuvenates the earth and makes it lively. Without it, all of the living beings would be seeds only. The rain being considerate towards its place of origin comes back to return the favor after completing its whole cycle and makes the earth a spectacular place to live. The poet compares rain to a song as they both pass through the same phases. The song emerging from the heart to the singer traverses to serve its purpose and comes back from where it originated just like the rain returns to the earth.
And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d, altogether changed,
and yet the same,
impalpable – unable to be felt by touch
whence – from what place or source
Explanation of first half:
In the beginning, The poet asks the rain “who are you” and it’s strange that he receives an answer from the rain. She says that she is the Poem of Earth. She describes herself as impalpable (something which cannot be touched) as she escapes from the land and the bottomless sea unnoticed. It advances up towards heaven and changes its form but doesn’t change its nature.
I descend to lave the drougths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin,
And make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfillment, wander-
ing,Reck’d or unreck’d. duly with love returns.)
latent – hidden or concealed
Explanation of Second Half:
The rain descends and nourishes the land and prevents it from drying further, it suppresses the dust and filth suspended in the air. Without rain there would be no existing lives, may it be trees, humans, or animals. The rain tells the poet that it comes back to where it takes birth and in return nourishes the land making it rich with useful elements making the earth a beautiful place to live.
In the last two lines, the poet compares rain to a song emanating from a singer’s heart that returns to its place of origin with love and compassion no matter what.
Literary devices used:
Personification – As rain (a non-living thing) is the narrator, which is only possible if it is a living being.
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