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The Rains Analysis

Author: poem of Philip Levine Type: poem Views: 10

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The river rises

and the rains keep coming.

My Papa says

it can't flood for

the water can run

away as fast as

it comes down. I believe

him because he's Papa

and because I'm afraid

ofwater I know I can't stop.

All day in school I

see the windows darken,

and hearing the steady drum

of rain, I wonder

if it wil1 ever stop

and how can I get home.

It did not flood.

I cannot now remember

how I got home.

I recall only that the house

was dark and cold, and I went

from room to room calling

out the names

of all those I lived with

and no one answered. For a time

I thought the waters had swept

them out to sea

and this was all I had. At last

I heard the door opening

downstairs and my brother

stamping his wet boots

on the mat.

Now when the autumn comes

I go alone

into the high mountains

or sometimes with my wife,

and we walk in silence

down the trails

of pine needles

and hear the winds

humming through the branches

the long dirge of the world.

Below us is the world

we cannot see, have come

not to see, soured

with years of never

giving enough, darkened

with oils and fire, the world

we could have come

to call home.

One day the rain

will find us far

from anything, crossing

the great meadows

the sun had hidden in.

Hand in hand, we

will go forward toward nothing

while our clothes darken

and our faces stream

with the sweet waters

of heaven. Your eyes,

suddenly deep and dark in that light,

will overflow with joy

or sadness, with all

you have no names for.

This is who you are.

That other life below

was what you dreamed

and I am the man beside you.


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