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Song of the Rain Summary in English by Kahlil Gibran
Song of the Rain Summary in English
In this poem, Kahlil Gibran celebrates rain as the life-giving force of this earth. The poem is written in the voice of the rain. The rain says that as it falls from the sky, it looks like silver threads dropped from heaven by the gods. Rain causes flowers to bloom and decorate nature’s fields and valleys. Raindrops are beautiful pearls that have been plucked from the crown of the goddess Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn. Ishtar is the goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. In the Babylonian pantheon, she ‘was the divine personification of the planet Venus’.
In Babylonian mythology, Aya is the goddess of dawn. Her daughter takes the raindrops and uses them to decorate the gardens. The hills and flowers exhibit their joy when it rains by coming into bloom. When rain humbles itself by falling from the sky on to the earth, all living things are happy.
The field and the cloud are lovers and the rain is a messenger of mercy between them as it drenches the fields and makes the clouds lighter and brighter. It quenches the thirst of the parched earth and reduces the heaviness or swelling of the clouds. Rain is preceded by thunder and followed by the rainbow. Just as a life is created by the coming together of the five elements—air, earth, fire, water, and wind, rain too is created when the earth and water are heated and water rises as vapour to the sky. When it rains, the sky and the wind are stormy. At the time of death, the elements merge into elements and the soul ascends to heaven. Similarly, when rain falls, it merges with the water only to rise again as water vapour.
Whenever it sees a parched field, it falls to earth and embraces the flowers and the trees. Rain taps softly against the windows. People welcome the arrival of rain. Although everyone can hear the sound of rain as it falls, only people who are sensitive can feel the affection of the sea, the joy of the fields on receiving rain, and the sorrow of heaven as rain parts from it.
Song of the Rain Summary Questions and Answers
On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions by ticking the correct choice.
a. The rain calls itself the ‘dotted silver threads ’ as:
(i) the shimmering drops fall one after the other
(ii) it ties heaven and earth
(iii) it dots the earth with shimmering water ”
(iv) it decorates the fields
The shimmering drops fall one after the other.
b. The tone and mood of the rain in the poem reflect its:
(i) love for the earth
(ii) desire to take revenge
(iii) merriment as it destroys
(iv) desire to look beautiful
Love for the earth.
Answer the following questions.
a. Why is the rain divine?
The rain is divine as it comes from heaven. It is plucked from the crown of Ishtar. It gives new life to seeds.
b. In this universe, rain performs many functions. What are those?
The rain adorns the fields and valleys of nature. It beautifies the garden of the daughter of dawn. It acts as the messenger between the lovers, clouds and the field and quenches the thirst of the earth. The rain is the sigh of the sea, a cause of happiness for the field and tears of the heavens.
c. ‘When I cry the hills laugh;
When I humble myself the flowers rejoice; When I bow, all things are elated. ’
Cry, humble and bow indicate different intensity with which the rain falls. Explain the three in context.
Crying of the rain indicates a torrential downpour over the hills. When the rain humbles itself to fall gently over the earth, the flowers bloom in happiness. The rain bows in respect when it falls rhythmically on the earth, much to the elation of its inhabitants.
d. How do you think the rain quenches the thirst of the fields and cures clouds ’ ailment?
The rain falls gently on the parched earth to give it the moisture it requires to become fertile again and, as it falls on the earth, it lightens the load of the clouds that have carried it thus far. Thus, the rain quenches the thirst of the fields and cures clouds’ ailments.
e. Think about million little ways in which the rain embraces the trees. Mention a few of them.
The rain may embrace the trees as shining droplets of dew, it may embrace them as morning mist. The rain embraces the trees during torrential downpours as well as during gentle, rhythmic rainfall.
f. ‘….All can hear, but only
The sensitive can understand’
What does the poet want to convey?
The poet wants to convey to us that many people hear the sound of the thunder but only a few sensitive people understand the power and great abilities that the rain possesses.
g. Notice the imagery built around ‘sigh of the sea ’, ‘laughter of the field’ and ‘tears of heaven ’. Explain the three expressions in context of rain.
The rain rises as water vapour from the sea. This is the ‘sigh of the sea’. Rainfall gives the parched fields a new lease of life. This is why it is the ‘laughter of the fields’. The rain falls from the heaven as a torrent of tears. Hence, it is the ‘tears of heaven’.
h. How would you express rain as
an agent of floods?
Too much rainfall causes the rivers to overflow, creating floods.
a source of water for dams?
Dams store water received during the rainfall to use later when there is scarcity of water.
i. ‘I am like earthly life … ‘
Why does the poet call rain as earthly life?
The poet calls the rain as earthly life because when it starts it brings joy in the same manner a new-born child gives joy to its parents and when it stops it causes sadness in the same manner that death causes grief.
j. Explain the ending of the song.
The song ends with rain being filled with emotion and crying with endless memories that it had experienced.