There Will Come Soft Rains – Sara Teasdale poem

Was it three years ago that Meredith came to my house and we recorded an album’s worth of Sara Teasdale poems? And then she thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have just one more, and she took the copy of Flame and Shadow that @snakroo got for me from St. John’s Thrift and opened it to this little gem and started singing what would become this beautiful melody and I said hey wouldn’t an E7 chord be nice there and what if the “not ones” both had the same little melodic hook happening and anyway this is perhaps my favorite Sara Teasdale song of all and it happened with you, my friend, and I would really love to tag you here but it looks like you’ve deleted your instagram again so maybe I’ll try your sister? @heylouwrites

This poem is just so beautiful and under my reading today it speaks to this destructive tendency that white people in power have. Do we have a death wish? Sara Teasdale wrote this in the time of WWI, but its themes could be applied to so many occurrences in American history: subsequent wars, occupations, colonizations, environmental degradation, the upholding of systemic racism, environmental racism, every stripe of racism. Sara Teasdale probably died of depression and in this poem you can see her hopelessness. Can white people hold all the terrible things we’ve done to people of color, to the environment, to the earth? Can we hold ourselves responsible and consciously undo all of the harmful social structures that we unconsciously re-enact each day?

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.


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