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Commentary for the Rainy Season

Poetry Break for the week of June 23rd, 2008

As I am sitting here listening to the thunder outside (our Florida rainy season is in full swing) I ran across this entry from Bob Blair's Poetry Break, this day in 2000 - though he was writing from Texas at the time (and Longfellow was way up north).

Poets are supposed to be good at words, so it's not surprising that the words and phrases they invent often become part of our ordinary language. But it's important, because what we say reflects how we think.

Take the tag line of today's poem, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Rainy Day. If you've never said "Into each life some rain must fall", I'll bet you've at least thought it. That you were quoting Longfellow is not the important point, though: those words reflect an attitude and a set of beliefs that go back before you or Longfellow were born. The idea is strong enough that, when Longfellow captured it in iambic pentameter, it became part of the language.

--Bob Blair 


The Rainy Day

Written at the old home in Portland

THE day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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