Saturday, June 18, 2011

Poetry Prompt #58 – In the Rain

“A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain 
hoping to be struck by lightning.”
(James Dickey)

Spring in my corner of the pond has been especially rainy this year, but the trees and lawns are brilliantly green and the gardens are lush with blooms. Accordingly, I thought we might “stand outside in the rain" and make some “poetry lightning” this week.

Before you begin writing, be sure to read the following rain poems:

Now...  here are some questions to consider before you start to write:

How does rain make you feel?
Do rain clouds and rain make you feel melancholy?
Is there anything romantic about rain?
Does rain make you feel sleepy?
Do you love falling asleep to the sound of rain on the windows and roof? 
Does a rainy day in any season remind you of springtime?
Is there a freshness (newness, cleanness) in rain that speaks to you?
What memories does rain evoke?
How do thunder and lightning storms make you feel; what memories do they suggest?
Do you like the feeling of rain on your face?
Does hearing rain outdoors make you feel cozy indoors?
How does walking in rain make you feel?
Have you ever walked in the woods while it was raining softly?
Have you ever visited in a graveyard in rain?
How is rain like a voice behind a door?

After thinking about the above questions, and with an idea about rain in mind, begin writing your poem. Work on imagery, metaphor, and sound quality (including alliteration, assonance, and consonance). Whether you share a memory, tell a story, or simply reflect upon rain, try limiting your poem to 25 lines or less. This isn't arbitrary – compression is important – be careful not to include too many details. Let the rain in your poem speak to you, and remember that the best poems mean more than they say.

Alternatively, you may wish to substitute another “weather” and write a poem using that as your muse.

A second alternative is to use “April Rain Song” by Langston Hughes as a model for a poem of your own. 

Let the rain________
Let the rain________
Let the rain________

(Fill in the blanks and take it from there.)


  1. Brilliant! We've had a lot of rain here this summer too, so this prompt really resonates for me.

    Thanks, Adele!


  2. Adele, not sure if the is the right place, but here's what comes to my mind as a racer when you say, "In the Rain". by the way, the James Dickey quote applies well to racers!

    In the rain.
    Aquaplaning, skittering, catch it, foot to the floor down the straight.
    On the brakes tentatively, gently, but still too much!
    Squirming icy dicey, catch it, catch it, turn in late and find a little grip off the fast line.
    Shun the glossy fast line, the puddle drowning the apex, beware treacherous painted stripes!
    gently, gently, around, a wiggle, catch it, unwind the wheel smoothly.
    A little gas, rear breaks loose, front breaks loose, delicate dance of throttle and wheel till it bites.
    Someones been off (guilty satisfaction!) bringing mud onto the track.
    A ball of spray ahead, flash of rain light in the mist.
    Someone struggling...closer, closer.
    Where did the world go???!!!!
    Covering ground at over a hundred... blind.
    Hand fumbling for the visor, thumb smears the fog inside and brushes my face (little help for my glasses!)
    Soggy gloved finger wipes beaded water from the outside, instantly replaced.
    Head craned, trying to peer beneath the translucent blur.
    Opening between the ball of spray and concrete wall.
    Murderous puddles between the ball of spray and concrete wall.
    Go for it anyway, skipping like a hurled flat stone over the puddles.
    Past! Survived! Endorphin exhilaration floods like the water washing across the track.
    Now I'm the damned ball of spray and he's the one blinded.
    Not that I can see much, wipe again quickly then shift.
    Like being shot and missed and over and over and over. Water bullets everywhere.
    Loving every second.

    Curt Fisher

  3. Gee, I'm posting again, but I just had to comment on Curt Fisher's amazing poem. I assume that Curt is a race car driver -- this is a superb, really superb, poem that takes us into the cockpit (driver's seat) with the racer so that we feel everything he felt. "Where did the world go?" Yikes!

    I can imagine him struggling with his glasses and the way his thumb smears them -- that soggy gloved finger. I was right there with him between the ball of spray and the concrete wall!

    The image of "skipping water like a hurled flat stone" is amazing.

    A racer who is also a poet!

    Thanks, Curt, for sharing your poem!


  4. Hey, Curt! Thanks, friend, for posting your poem! I love it! It so perfectly coveys what you, the race car driver, experienced while racing in the rain.

    Your meticulous attention to detail is spot on, and I agree with everything Jamie said.

    I hope you'll write more!

    Thanks again!

  5. To Curt Fisher

    Nice poem (from one car guy to another). You really captured the intense feeling of the race.

  6. A little poem inspired by this prompt, and shared anonymously, with thanks to you, Adele. (I write a little here and there but don't consider myself a poet, just a poetry lover who dabbles.)

    Here The Rain

    Here the rain
    And the long day;

    I think of how
    Things were with

    You, and the rain
    Streams the way

    Night streams at
    the day’s end –

    I think how
    Everything is

    Changed, forever
    Changed …

    I miss you.

  7. Anonymous - thanks for posting your poem. I'm glad to know that the prompt worked for you.