Explore Poems GO!


Rating: 3.9

September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.

She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,

but only known to a grandmother.
Read More

J.b. Lebuert 28 February 2012

If people only understood the challenges and difficulty of writing a sestina poem then the rating for this great poem would be higher. It is one of the ost difficult structured poems that I have ever attempted.

68 28 Reply
ilia Altshuler 07 February 2012

I think: That the repeating pattern of the words: almanac, stove, house, child, tears, grandmother, suggest that the grand mother and the child are left alone, trapped in a continuous vicious annual circle. the tears suggest the tragic absence of the parents and the grandfather and perhaps the coming death of the grandmother. The last three lines which end with almanac, stove, house, suggest that the only thing that will survive is the house the almanac and the stove - the tears here are symbolical and stand for the more general mourn about the human mortality,

66 25 Reply
anonymus 05 May 2020

thanks for ur answer u just saved my like 15 mins of writing

0 0 Reply
Oliver Hansen 22 December 2011

Hello Christina, well it has been nearly four years since your post, but I have an English final soon, and this topic is on the final so I thought I would try my hand at explaining. A sestina (or a sestine, sextine, or sextain) is a seven stanza poem, as you may have noticed. The first six stanzas consist of six lines and the last one of three, called an 'envoi.' Something I find really interesting about them is way the last word of each line repeats itself: 'house, tears, child, almanac, stove, and grandmother.' This pattern is traditional in sestinas. I feel this poem is about a loving household, where the grandmother cares for the child. They have a good time together and it is mixed with sadness from the grandmother. Maybe it's her mortality or the child's innocence she cries at.

45 28 Reply
Anessa Buff 12 January 2012

It appears to me that the man in the boy's drawing is the grandfather. Since the grandfather does not have a role in the poem, one can assume that the grandfather has passed away. So as to avoid any feelings of pain, the grandmother busies herself about the stove. The poem even states that the laughing and talking have the purpose of hiding the grandmother's tears.

45 27 Reply
John Mahon 14 October 2021

Razors da left

0 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 29 November 2020

Time to plant tears, says the almanac. The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove and the child draws another inscrutable house. very fine poem. tony

0 0 Reply
yumyum 18 November 2020

This is good I just cant do this i am just going to use this as something to learn from and right my own with

2 0 Reply
Some rando nerd 04 April 2019

Yo That’s weird (I had to enter 20 characters so I’m just doin this lol)

4 0 Reply
Bill Grace 25 November 2018

I return to this poem again and again and love it and do not know why.

5 1 Reply