Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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Poetry Friday: “The Old Man and the Rain”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllIt seems I’m always thanking people for providing me the inspiration to write stuff! It might be my family (see this past Tuesday’s post about social media and Jello shots) or it could be a fellow children’s writer (see last Friday’s poem).  This week, I owe a debt of gratitude to David L. Harrison.

Last weekend, David posted a poetry starter on his blog. He and his wife were vacationing in Florida, but it had been raining the entire time, so he asked his readers to come up with a few lines based on his “misery.” Of course, the definition of “misery” is subjective; for someone like me who lives in New Hampshire, ANY day in Florida is a good day!

But since it has been so rainy and dreary here this year – the rainiest summer I can recall, really – I could definitely empathize with him. So I wrote a short poem and posted it on his blog.  (You can read everyone’s poems, including mine, HERE)

As I looked at it and considered tweaking it, I thought I might be able to improve it a bit but changing the concept of “the man” to “the old man.” By doing so, I hoped to make a stronger differentiation between the ages of the two characters; it may, perhaps, be more obvious that they are one in the same. Moreover, the inference that this person is an older fellow gives the poem a potentially deeper meaning – is he actually watching rain fall, or is this whole scene allegorical, about something bigger and more universal?

I dunno. But that’s the beauty of poetry, right? Hopefully it’s not too deep for an alleged children’s poem…but it is what it is. As I always tell people, I don’t write for a particular audience or market, I just write.  It’s only when I’m done writing something that I try to figure out what to do with it or where to put it.

So, having said that – here it is! I hope you enjoy it. And for all of today’s Poetry Friday info and links, please visit Michelle Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty!

Rainy Day

Outside the old man’s window!

The Old Man and the Rain

The old man stares through window glass;
another rainy day.
He tries to catch a glimpse of sun,
but all he sees is grey.

He says a secret, silent prayer
to wish the rain away.
Although the man has work to do,
the boy would like to play.

- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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16 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “The Old Man and the Rain”

  1. I can relate. I’m listing to the rain right now after being woken by thunder in the night. I’d be happy for a chance to work or play.

  2. It really is beautiful, Matt. Unless I think back to my Missouri days, I cannot relate at all, and wish that we had a full rainy day here in Colorado. Last night we had about 10 minutes of rain and felt blessed! I love that you said much in only two stanzas, and the ending punctuates all our dreams, doesn’t it? Thank you!

  3. You’ve done it again, Matt. This is so simple and says so much! I read your previous version, and have to agree that you made the poem better by using the “old man” voice. It becomes that much richer.

  4. The picture and the poem are perfect. I like this a lot. Can you send a little of your rain our way?

  5. I felt the sadness here, the frustration with the rain but absolutely loved the ending. I hope he does go out and splash in a puddle to relive those boyish desires. Lovely lovely share.

  6. margaretsmn on said:

    I liked reading about your thinking. I also just write to see where it takes me. I get bogged down when there is a more specific goal or project to finish. I enjoyed your poem, too, especially the end that could be one person or two.

  7. Lovely images, with a fun twist at the end. Well done, sir!

  8. maryleehahn on said:

    My summer has been one of contrasts — so dry in eastern Colorado, and so much rain here in Ohio. When rain is rare, this girl loved/es to play in it. But when rain is so constant, it gets hard to be thankful…

  9. Hi, Matt. I really like this poem. I think the contrast between “old man” and boy is very obvious, and I can envision an old man — but one with a playful spirit — waiting for the rain to stop. I’m actually in Florida right now visiting my mother, and it has been raining a lot!

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