“What is the poet in Australia to do? He must learn how to make it rain in words.”
— Robert Wood, History & the Poet
Try fixing the boundary between forerain
and rain . . . Forerain errs forever
on the side of the individual, each drop
having a whole vertical cubicle of atmosphere
In this it shows, liquidly conspicuous,
but never showers, a doomed, one-hand clapping rain
that peters out for want of symphony.
True rain is orchestral:
it is — by instinct and by definition — a drenching mass noun.
Every article in a downpour performs
to the echoing chorus of its sisters.
There are no distinct palm-beats in a sea of applause:
the Supreme Admiral Pattern
enjoys self-evident precedence over all
that is not it — assertion, confidence, nerve —
and, when the rain rains off,
a wide hush like dust
endorses the world’s choice.
Photograph: Evette Kwok