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(3 March 1878 - 9 April 1917 / London / England)

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Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Read poems about / on: solitude, sympathy, rain, thanks, water, pain, death, night, love, remember

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Comments about this poem (Birds' Nests by Edward Thomas )

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  • Charlotte Gunther (3/8/2014 4:30:00 PM)

    midnight thoughts and remembering those you once loved- do they feel the midnight rain? there is hope? hope seen in the cold dead reeds that just might hide life after death- which he claims to love. He loves death because life has disappointed him, death will not- not now after the rain has cleansed him.
    this poem is like the half-awake, half-formed thoughts that come during a midnight rain.

    0 person liked.
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  • * Sunprincess * (3/7/2014 9:15:00 PM)

    .......a wonderful tribute to the rain...the simple things like listening to the rain and feeling the warm sun is what is most important in this write...

  • Ndimele.g. Ancientsword (3/7/2014 6:59:00 PM)

    Edward thomas is a lonely man, helpless among d livin nd d dead awake in d midnight listening to d heavy rain he describe as ' Wild Rain, a tempest' either in pain or thus in sympathy. that makes him remember that life is once as death is inevitable, is a sure thing that wll definately take place nd whn it does 'neither will hear d rain nor give it thanks' but seize d given chance to pray and thankful for none he had loved to b in sound mind. Also made us know 'blessed are d dead rain rains upon.

  • Soulful Heart (3/7/2014 7:15:00 AM)

    Solitude and the pain of lonliness...d anticipation of death all hammered together tightly....a despotic poem yet heis thankful that none of his loved ones are hurt today....

  • Hardik Vaidya (3/7/2013 1:50:00 AM)

    It is the most sensitive poems i have read. and what touches me about this poem is its almost imperceptible presence. quite a stark contrast to the raw and humngous presence of a Neruda poem for example. i dont think there are dark poems or dark phases. there are mere dark bends. or perhaps episodes needing the absence of light to leave the din of brightness out to help focus back. i think Edward Thomas is focusing back in this poem. perhaps the last few lines are pure sarcasm, he has no love for death, he has no love for the rain washing away, and he is convinced that the rain has not washed away a farthing from him.

  • Sandra Feldman (3/7/2013 1:24:00 AM)

    Depressingly poetic, but very well written, the rain wets you too.

  • Emendar Ibauza (8/24/2012 4:00:00 PM)

    Rain cleansing before judgment for a man in love with death. Whew.

  • Carlos Echeverria (3/7/2012 4:41:00 PM)

    Even the darkest thoughts are a pleasure to read when rendered artfully.

  • M. Laws (3/7/2011 7:00:00 PM)

    much prefer Wordsworth's Daffodils but couldn't seem to post on that....

  • Joey Valenzuela (3/7/2010 10:54:00 PM)


    i agree with terence....

    '''solitude”—are early expressions of the alienation articulated by twentieth century writers.’ '''

    know 'one hundred years of solitude' by columbian novelist gabriel garcia marquez? ... about war and alienation....

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