There Will Come Soft Rains

The year was 1918. World War I was coming to an end when Sara Teasdale wrote “There Will Come Soft Rains.” Influenced by the unprecedented levels of destruction witnessed and precious lives lost during the war years, she used the soft and gentle voice of nature to lament the futility and horror of unspeakable violence that had griped the entire world.

In this poignant 12-line poem, Sara imagines that nature will reclaim earth. Nature brings peace, and will remember us no longer. First published in the July 1918 issue of Harper’s Magazine, “There Will Come Soft Rains,” was included in Sarah’s 1920 collection, Flame and Shadow.

Years later, in 1950, Ray Bradbury used these same words, “There Will Come Soft Rains,” in a short story published in the May 6, 1950 issue of Collier’s. A few months later this story was included in his “The Martian Chronicles.”

Why live? Life was its own answer. Life was the propagation of more life and the living of as good a life as possible.” Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles

Join me as I recite, “There Will Come Soft Rains.”

There Will Come Soft Rains

by Sara Teasdale 1884 -1933

(War Time)

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.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

14 thoughts on “There Will Come Soft Rains

  1. Oh my. I hardly know what to say, that is the most beautiful and heart-wrenching poem – enhanced as always by your lovely performance. I could not resist ordering an anthology of Sara Teasdale’s poems – thank you for the introduction to this amazing writer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Liz for your encouraging comments. I have found that reciting poetry has become my favourite form of meditation. This idea first came to me when I was listening to an audiobook of poets reading their own poetry. In my previous career, I would walk back and fourth to work which gave me 1/2 hour of listening both ways. It was a gentle way to transition between work and home. What a great idea to order an anthology – thank you for that idea!! Hugs!!!

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      1. I am sure the poets would be nodding their heads in agreement at your approach! You have reminded me that I have some long-forgotten poetry books in my audible library, so will look forward to reviving them. I can imagine how lovely it will be to listen to poetry being recited while knitting away! X

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      2. That will be a most wonderful way to bring together two creative endeavors. That is the best multi-tasking idea that I have ever come across. I wonder if the poetry will influence your knitting style. Oh, the possibilities, Liz. You must let me know how that all comes together.

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  2. This one slipped past me a couple weeks ago. What a poignant reminder that war takes its toll on all of nature and that in our extreme disappointment in mankind’s penchant for war, we can imagine nature not needing us at all. Thank you for your poetry recitations, since they encourage us to seek the richness of the arts all around and to feed our souls.

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    1. This was a very difficult poem to recite, Mary Jo. I confess that I had to try more than once to complete without tears coming. We need to seek the best of life, to build compassionate communities, to encourage, to support, to listen, to love. Thank you so much for your lovely comments.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this delightful poem, I enjoyed it very much as you read it. It holds so much meaning after the tragedies of the war. I also enjoyed the beautiful photos of the mountain and countryside. Really, so comforting!

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    1. There is a comforting element to the poem, isn’t there? Nature will continue and thrive. The seasons will come and years will pass – nature will remain. Thank you again for all you support and encouragement, Frances.

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    1. I confess that I had to practice this recitation several times because I would always feel the tears come when I came to the end. Indeed, what have we done? Some suggest that the poem alludes to the idea of human extinction, which became a mainstream idea with the invention of nuclear weapons. This again is a confirmation to me that creatives – artists, poets, writers etc have a intuitive, even clearer, understanding of the future. Thank you so much for your comments.

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      1. To confirm this idea, serendipity came around this morning when I opened my daily art calendar to Franz Marc, who foreshadowed the WWI carnage. “Art is nothing but the expression of our dream; the more we surrender to it the closer we get to the inner truth of things, our dream-life, the true life that scorns questions and does not see them.” Franz Marc

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