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I have rain on the brain.

This is not an unusual state of affairs in southern Sweden, where it rains a LOT. The Pacific Northwest ain't got nothing on us. The saying, "April showers bring May flowers" was actually invented in Sweden, but the original goes more like this: "January, February, March, April, May and sometimes June showers..." It rains an average of 164 days a year in Sweden. More in the south, I'm pretty sure. My fingertips are permanently raisined and we won't even talk about my hair. So without further ado, I present 3 excellent poems about rain.

What I Did on a Rainy Day
by May Swenson

Breathed the fog from the valley
Inhaled its ether fumes
With whittling eyes peeled the hills
to their own blue and bone
Swallowed piercing pellets of rain
caught cloudsful in one colorless cup
Exhaling stung the earth with sunlight
struck leaf and bristle to green fire
Turned tree trunks to gleaming pillars
and twigs to golden nails
With one breath taken into the coils
of my blood and given again when vibrant
I showed who's god around here


by Diana Der Hovanessian

Rain undoes the stone
unfastens grass.
Nothing is permanently
attached to bone.
Neither epoxy
nor promises last.

But I keep those inflections
you telephoned to wear
with your frown on rainy days.
There is another you
I have invented from your name
and cemented to my bones forever.

Let rain say nothing stays.


by Ron Padgett

Of rain
hit the buildings
but we in our apartments
are kept dry by the buildings they're in

The rain is rolling off the buildings
and bouncing off
and the roofs keep the rain from
getting us wet

the ceiling is not letting any water in

it goes spat spat spat
on the windowledge
trying to get in

the windowpane is streaked with rain
trying to come in

to go everywhere

to make everything wet

I am lying in my bed
head near the window

aware of all this
thinking How Great

We Win
mood: content
music: And So Are You—Rain Muzak


In the Netherlands we tend to say: It only rained twice this week, the first time was from Monday till Thursday and the second time was from Friday till Sunday... ;-)

You know, I've heard that the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain :)

I think you must hog all of the rain, because we don't get quite so much up here as you do in Skåne, though it can be wet in the summer.

I was reading some Mary Oliver poems the other day and thought of you - I like this one:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

- Mary Oliver

That's one of my favorite Oliver poems. :)


I will quit complaining about the rain in Seattle. It hasn't rained here in days. Tee hee.


Poetry Thursday & Mystery Blog

I've been enjoying your Poetry Thursday picks (sorry I've been a lazy lurker and have been just reading and running lately)
I don't know if you're aware of this, but you're Paper Napkin's Mystery Blogger today - Congratulations!
p.s. Thanks for giving me some perspective on our recent wet weather - whew! Suddenly it feels much drier here :>)

Re: Poetry Thursday & Mystery Blog

I wasn't aware of it! thanks for letting me know :) And thanks for the compliments. Today the sun is shining bright, which, after a week of rain, is MORE than welcome :)


pacific northwesterner here - love rain! always have, even when i lived in the southern usa.

didn't have a clue about sweden's rain! need to tell a friend who is planning to accompany her daughter there on a business trip and doesn't know either!

thanks for the 3 poems on rain. what a treat!

Sky at EAST and WEST at Every Turn (

Well, like I said, it's more southern Sweden that is affected. If your friend is going to Stockholm, she probably doesn't have to worry about it, but an umbrella and rainjacket are probably a good bet regardless. :)

This entry made me think of a dictionary entry a friend sent me recently. It's such a great word, but I haven't managed to use it yet:

Today's Word: Petrichor (Noun)

Pronunciation: ['pe-trê-ko(r) or -tri-]

Definition 1: A pleasant distinctive smell of rain falling on dry ground. The original reference is to an odor produced in certain regions by yellowish, oily globules, rather like perfume, absorbed into the ground from the air.

Usage 1: Here is a new conceptual opportunity for lexiphiliacs. Although introduced by geologists in 1964 (Nature 993/2) to refer to a specific aroma, we have all experienced the pleasure of the smell of rain on a dry earth. Now, thanks to the sharp ear (or eye) of Word-of-the-Day subscriber Gregory Rutter, we can all express it.

Suggested Usage: This word certainly fits anywhere aromas are discussed, "I love this chardonnay for the petrichor underlying its complex bouquet." But once we are comfortable with it, we can unleash our metaphoric creativity, "Her entrance into his life was a refreshing petrichor ending a long, stale season of relationships."

Etymology: Greek petros "stone" or petra "rock" + ichor, the mythical rarified fluid that flowed in the veins of the gods. ("Ichor" now refers literally to any watery, perhaps blood-tinged discharge.) Petros also underlies the name "Peter," so Rock Hudson's first name was simply a translation of the Greek "Peter." Petro- has taken a sharp semantic turn of late, resulting from the clipping of "petroleum" (from petro "rock" + oleum "oil"). Neologisms like "petrodollars" and "petropower" refer to the money and power of oil, not of rocks.

-Dr. Language,

That was FABULOUS! Thanks so much for that. I love new and unusual words and I love finding out where they come from. I'm a big dictionary nerd.

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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