There Will Come Soft Rains

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.

–“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Sara Teasdale



This poem is in my top ten favorites.  In a small number of words, this poem lays out just how unimportant any single species is on this Earth.  Fact is, this Earth grew and changed and thrived without any life on it at all for nearly as long as it has had life.  This planet is huge, and its life is circular.  No matter what happens, it will bounce back.  I mean, if this planet could survive meteor strikes, what level of arrogance must we have to believe that it wont survive humanity?  We seriously need to get over ourselves!

Don’t get me wrong, I think that we could be a hell of a lot nicer to our planet, but that has nothing to do with survival, and everything to do with respect.  This planet is our home, our natural mother, and we should treat it with the same respect that we show our birth mothers.  It hurts me to see people take her gifts for granted, or ignore what is actually best for us in the long run (green energy, for example) just because we are too lazy to work on a better long term solution.

Back to the poem, though.  You may not know this, but this poem also inspired a short story.  This story was written in 1950 by Ray Bradbury, and is also named There Will Come Soft Rains.  The story goes very creatively through an automated house that continues going about its scheduled daily routine even though the family has long since left.  It’s a striking story, and a wonderful read.  I highly recommend it.


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