Traditionally we sing that April is a rainy month. Yesterday, here, it did indeed. But we’re promised sunshine for the next few days and that’s wonderful to me.

Our first poem is by Langston Hughes. He was a prolific writer and a mountain of a man. You can read more about him on Red Hot Jazz … which is appropriate since he is credited with inventing jazz poetry.

April Rain Song

Langston Hughes

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

Next is a poem I found quite by accident. I know very little about Raymond A. Foss, but I really like the onomatopaeia of this poem.

Capturing the Sound of Rain

Raymond A. Foss

Listening to the timpani
the rhythm of the rain
the rap, the tap,
the ratta-tat-tat,
the staccato of the drumming
on the roof of the van

The storm raging ‘round us
in the stillness of the parking lot
trying to drum to the beat
on laps and the steering wheel
keeping time with the chaos
the randomness of the clatter

Too few drummers for the task
capturing the sound of rain

And finally, a poem about rain for grownups only….You can listen to it being read by the poet here:

Rain on Tin

Rodney Jones

 If I ever get over the bodies of women, I am going to think of the rain

of waiting under the eaves of an old house

at that moment

when it takes a form like fog.

It makes the mountain vanish.

Then the smell of rain, which is the smell of the earth a plow turns up

only condensed and refined.

How many years since thunder rolled

and the nerves woke like secret agents under the skin?

Brazil is where I wanted to live.

The border is not far from here.

Lonely and grateful would be my way to end,

and something for the pain please,

a little purity to sand the rough edges,

a slow downpour from the dark ages,

a drizzle from the Pleistocene.

As I dream of the rain’s long body

I will eliminate from mind all the qualities that rain delets

and then I will be primed to study rain’s power,

the first drops lightly hallowing

but now and again a great gallop of the horse of rain

or an explosion of orange-green light.

A simple radiance, it requires no discipline.

Before I knew women, I knew the lonely pleasure of rain.

The mist and then the clearing.

I will listen where the lightning thrills the rooster up a willow

and my whole life flowing

until I have no choice, only the rain

and I step into it.

‘Rain on Tin’ from Salvation Blues: One Hundred Poems 1985 -2005

(Mariner Books, 2007)), © Rodney Jones 2007

Do you have any favourite poems about rain? If so, please share them in the comments. I’m collecting poems because I love them.

What do you love about rain in spring? in summer? in the fall? during a brief winter thaw?