The prompt today made me think of the poem Rain by Edward Thomas and the rather sad story behind his strong friendship with my favourite poet Robert Frost and Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.”
Perhaps Frost’s most famous composition, “Road Not Taken” was viewed by Thomas as a challenge to his own indecision over his feelings towards the First World War.
Thomas was furious with Frost and despite Frost assuring him the poem should not be interpreted that way, it proved a final motivating factor in Thomas’s decision to join up and fight in the Great War.
Tragically Thomas was killed two months into his first active participation in the war.
Years ago I became involved in a project to create a play about World War One, and that led me to further research of Thomas and his work. That is how I came across this beautiful piece called Rain. It is sad and full of melancholy.
Rain by Edward Thomas
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.