“And there will come soft rains”

Posted: October 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

“And there will come soft rains” Sarah Teasdale

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.

I read this poem about five years ago. It was within Ray Bradbury’s short story, of the same name.
The story was haunting, and I loved it. It gave me inspiration when I had to write a final essay in one of my English Comp. classes. My heart was in it. ( A+) I’ll never forget such inspirational words in that story.
This is a futuristic story about a family who thought they were prepared for an end of the world catastrophe. Their home was specifically built to go on functioning, should an astronomical disaster take place. Robotic mice were not prepared to tackle nature. Father and Mother McClellan, and two children were forever ashen in the same position when the world, for them, ended. Two children were melded into an outside wall and a tossed ball was ash, in mid-air, as it had been tossed by children in life. There was no warning and even the dog, although he was the only living family member, fell dead after entering the house, and sauntering throughout–searching. Programmed robots kept the house spotless, did all the work, continued to cook and clean after no inhabitants remained. But even robots have no control over nature. They continued to function and announce the time of day–only to finally be silenced by a falling tree branch through the kitchen window, bumping a bottle of cleaning solvent onto the stove. A fire ensued and the robotic beings fought the flames until they, too, succumbed.
One particular reading of the story caught my attention. The Mother. She knew what was to come and had developed a sort of resignation to it. She sat in her usual chair, reading. Knowing and accepting something horrific enough to take life is indeed a difficult task to overtake. The mother was the only family member who knew the end was near.
While it is true that Mrs. Mcclellan perished outside while picking flowers, she had a ritual habit of being read to by the robotic helpers. After she was no more, one robot asked if she’d like her favorite poem read. Her favorite poem is full of clues of what was to come. She knew and was acclimated to the very end. The only family member to actually realize there was no time. Such a poem and such a story–there never was.
“And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.”

This futuristic and realistic story by the great Ray Bradbury was written in 1950 and republished in 1970.

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