Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Voice Of Rain || Chapter Detailed




WALTER "WALT" WHITMAN (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.[1] His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.


In this poem, the poet goes and asks the rain shower who it is, and the shower replies that its the poem of the earth.....it rises from the land and seas in the form of untouchable mist, in a form thats physically very different from its true self but otherwise just the same, to the sky. from there, it goes back down, and quenches the thirst of everything, right down to small dust particles. it also gives life to seeds and helps them grow into thriving plants. thus, it gives back what it takes, life, to the earth, and also makes it pure and beautiful.

Hearing this, the poet compares it to a song, which rises from its birthplace (the heart) roams around for a bit, and, whether heard and enjoyed or not, returns back to the heart and settles there when he stops singing, remaining a happy memory.


|:| The VOICE OF RAIN |:|

The speaker enquired from the soft falling shower as to who or what it really is? Though it may appear to be very strange to express it in words, yet the soft rain seemed to give the speaker an answer which can be translated as follows: that it is the poem of the earth that rises eternally from an impalpable; not palpable; incapable of being perceived by the sense of touch; intangible: difficult for the mind to grasp readily or easily:(of powder) so fine that when rubbed between the fingers no grit is felt; something that cannot be touched; portion of the land and the bottomless sea. 

Upward to heaven, to the immeasurable heights of the sky, from whence it vaguely forms, altogether change and yet the same. 

It descends to lave; (of a river, sea, etc.) to flow along, against, or past; wash: Obsolete. To ladle; pour or dip with a ladle: wash or bathe; the droughts; a period of dry weather, esp. a long one that is injurious to crops: an extended shortage; atomies; tiny particles; and the dust layers of the globe. 

All that is in the world without the rain were only seeds that are latent; hidden; and unborn. Eternally, day and night, and round the clock, it gives back life to its own origin, to make the earth pure and beautify it. (For song, issuing from its birth place, after fulfillment, wandering Reck'd or unreck'd, duly with love returns); to have care, concern, or regard (often fol. by of, with, or a clause): to take heed: Archaic . 
To be of concern or importance; matter.


1. How does the rain justify its claim ‘I am the Poem of Earth’?
The rain calls itself the poem of earth because, the poem rendered by a poet,has the task of bringing joy, happiness, life to its readers. In the manner, therain drops, and falling over drought stricken earth, brings new life to the land asit also returns to its origin just like the rain drops.

2. What does the rain do to the things day and night?
The rain falls on the earth, and washes away the drought, it also helps the seedsto germinate and bring forth new life on the earth. Without it, all life on earthwould become lifeless.

3. What answer did the rain give to the poet about its origin?
The rain answered that it was the poem of the earth. It rose eternally out of theland and bottomless sea into the sky. There its form changed but essenceremained the same.

4. On what does the ‘rain descend’? What does it do to the things on which itfalls?
The rain descends on droughts, atoms and dust particles on the surface of theearth. It also falls on everything that is on the earth. It gives life to the things onwhich it falls. The things that do not get rain remain like seeds latent andunborn.


.....1st Stanza.....

And who art thou? Said I to the soft falling shower,
This, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here
I am the poem of Earth, said the voice of the raina

a. Name the poem and the poet.
The poem is ‘The Voice of the Rain’ and the name of the poet is ‘WaltWhitman’.

b. Who does ‘I’ refer to in the first and third line of this extract?
‘I’ in the first line is referred to the poet asking a question. ‘I’ in the third line isthe rain drop.

c. What do you understand by the phrase ‘Strange to tell’?
‘Strange to tell’ means that it is an unusual and extraordinary answer given bythe raindrops to the poet who asked who ‘it’ was.

d. How has the answer been conveyed to us and what is it?
The poet has personified the rain drop and it is answering the poet’s questionby saying that it is the ‘poem of the Earth’.

.....2nd Stanza....

Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land
And the bottomless sea,
Upwards to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d altogether
Changed, and yet the samea

a. From where does the rain originate?
The rain originates from the land and the bottomless (deep sea) in the form of water vapour.

b. How does it originate?
With the heat of the sun, the water evaporates from the sea or land and formswater- vapour which rises up in the atmosphere.

c. What happens to the rain in the sky?
In the sky, the rain drops form the rain. Their form has changed but the essencehas remained the same.

d. Name the poem and the poet.
The poem is ‘The Voice of the Rain’ and the poet is Walt Whitman.

.....3rd Stanza....

I descend to lave the droughts,
Atomies, dust- layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds
Only, latent, unborna

a. With what purpose does the rain descend from the sky?
The rain drops fall from the sky in order to give life to the dry areas and washthe famine-stricken lands.

b. How does the rain help the seeds?
The rain helps the seeds to germinate and grow into a new life.

c. Give the meanings of the words from the given lines:

come down - descend
to wash - lave

d. What is latent and unborn and why?
The seeds are dormant and unborn because of lack of water which is needed for them to germinate and form a new plant.

.....4th Stanza.....

And forever, by day and night, 
I giveBack life to my own origin,
And make pure and beautify it;

a. In what manner does the rain help its own origin?
The rain helps its own origin by watering the land and quenching the thirst of drought stricken areas.

b. Why has the poet given the life cycle of the song?
The poet has compared the life cycle of the rain drops to that of the song sayingthat they both return to their origin after fulfilling their tasks.

c. What is made ‘pure’?
The earth on which rain falls is made ‘pure’.

d. Which words in the given lines mean:

eternal - forever 
source - origin

......5th Stanza...... 

(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfillment, 
wanderingReck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns)

a. Why are the last lines put within brackets?
The last lines are put in brackets because they do not form the voice of the rainor the poet. They only certain a general observation by the poet about thecourse of a song.

b. ‘Reck’d or unreck’d’, what does this phrase mean?
Reck’d or unreck’d means whether cared for or not cared for.

c. Where does the song return?
The song returns to the place of its origin i.e. comes back to the poet.

d. Which word in the lines means ‘originating’?




  1. full summary copied from:

  2. Question answers copied from:

  3. really very nice thank u so much for the help!!!!

  4. summary given in this link is better - http://studentsniche.wordpress.com/class-vi/hornbill/the-voice-of-the-rain/

  5. Q.2 Explain the contrast ‘altogether changed and yet the same’.

  6. bakwass...................its not helpful

  7. Good revision but content was not to d point

  8. Which word in the poem saes that rain and music are parallel to each other