It’s Autumn here in my neck of the woods, and I am in my annual state of denial about the inevitability of the changing weather. I am a summer person – I love to swim, and snorkel and enjoy the heat. I am not so keen on being cold and wet. But it is, as I said, inevitable that the seasons will change and roll through, and in spite of my objections, I always end up remembering that there are lovely things about every season.
This week is a case in point. The week began warm and bright, and on Wednesday I was able to squeeze in an early morning snorkel, at a place called Castle Rock. Here’s a glimpse of what I saw.
(Incidentally, as I was getting ready to leave, I ran into a man who was setting up his drone for some aerial footage. He told me where to find him on Instagram and, lo and behold, he posted an image from above the very spot I had been snorkelling. So, if you want to see the same scene from above, head here).
Back home, and yesterday saw a complete change in the weather, with a big autumn rain storm. I was at my desk working on a poetry resource I am writing, and watching the weather change out my window, so I wasn’t surprised when the rain came down. But I did get a giggle when I realised what I was working on just at that time. I was busily adding two poems to the resource – both about rain! As the rain pelted down, I was entering this:
A Song of Rain
by C.J. Dennis
Patter, patter … Boolcoomatta,
Adelaide and Oodnadatta,
Pepegoona, parched and dry,
Laugh beneath a dripping sky.
Riverina’s thirsting plain
Knows the benison of rain.
Ararat and Arkaroola
Render thanks with Tantanoola
For the blessings they are gaining,
And it’s raining—raining—raining!
Weeps the sky at Wipipipee
Far Farina’s folk are dippy
With sheer joy, while Ballarat
Shouts and flings aloft it’s hat.
Thirsty Thackaringa yells;
Taltabooka gladly yells
Of a season wet and windy;
Men Rejoice on Murrindindie;
Kalioota’s ceased complaining;
For it’s raining—raining—raining!
(This is an extract from a longer poem which can be found here).
I love that this poem manages to gather the pace and momentum of a big rain storm. I also love the way it celebrates so many of Australia’s unique place names. You don’t have to know where they are to get real pleasure from the sound of them.
You might imagine that, when I realised the synchronicity of the rain outside and the rain poem on my computer screen, that the storm took on new meaning, and I was soon giggling and chanting ‘And it’s raining – raining – raining’ .
The next poem I worked on was also about rain, though not quite as joyful:
An Ode to the Rain
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I know it is dark; and though I have lain,
Awake, as I guess, an hour or twain,
I have not once opened the lids of my eyes,
But I lie in the dark, as a blind man lies.
O Rain! that I lie listening to,
You’re but a doleful sound at best:
I owe you little thanks, ’tis true,
For breaking thus my needful rest!
Yet if, as soon as it is light,
O Rain! you will but take your flight,
I’ll neither rail, nor malice keep,
Though sick and sore for want of sleep.
But only now, for this one day,
Do go, dear Rain! do go away!
(Again you will find the full poem here). I love that Coleridge took the Ode form, which is usually about praising something, and turned it humorously on its head to beg the rain to go away.
And me? Having smiled my way through the rain storm, which was a good one, with thunder and lightning and torrential rain, I got back to work and then, this morning, have woken to a cool but fine day. That’s Autumn for you!
Whatever season you are celebrating, it’s the right season for poetry. And, on Poetry Friday there is plenty of poetry to be found across the world wide web. Matt is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup today and also sharing a fun new poetic form, the tricube. I might have to
tri try my hand at one – or three.