A Good Home, Nature, Poem

Nature vs. Humanity

There Will Come Soft Rains
Sara Teasdale

Blog Photo - Daffodils in Rain Trio

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.

From The Language of Spring, edited by Robert Atwan, published by Beacon Press, 2003. Poet Sara Teasdale lived from 1884  to 1933, but her wartime poem feels appropriate during this time.

Thanks to Cathy for bringing it to my attention.  

36 thoughts on “Nature vs. Humanity”

  1. There was an article in today’s Guardian about the Mayor of Curridabat, a suburb of San José the Costa Rican Capital. He gave birds, bees and bats, and later trees, native plants and all pollinators, citizenship during his twelve-year tenure. The result is an urban wildlife haven now known as Ciudad Dolce. It has started a movement of creating inter-urban biocorridors. Costa Rica sources 98% of its energy from renewable sources. If we could all follow through on this then maybe these essential species will allow us citizenship in the long term after all.

  2. I’ve had those same thoughts, not as poetically as Teasdale, on going outside after work and it’s shockingly green and there are blooming things and the birds are singing. And I think, nature is here in all its usual glory. It’s a nice balance to go from the worry and concern to that thing that happens, just because it does.

  3. For some reason that brings this Emily Dickinson poem to mind:

    She sweeps with many-colored brooms,
    And leaves the shreds behind; Oh, housewife in the evening west,
    Come back, and dust the pond!

    You dropped a purple ravelling in,
    You dropped an amber thread; And now you ‘ve littered all the East
    With duds of emerald!
    And still she plies her spotted brooms,
    And still the aprons fly,
    Till brooms fade softly into stars —
    And then I come away.

  4. A beautiful and simple poem full of truth. We haven’t done very well, have we? Many of our mistakes have been made unintentionally. Where we fail is in not taking action as soon as it becomes obvious that things are not working or are doing actual damage. Complacency, laziness, turning a blind eye, greed, taking vengeance….the list of our corporate faults is very long.

  5. You are correct, this poem is so appropriate for our times. A scary picture it paints, yet there’s hope in learning that years ago someone felt the world was coming to an end but here we are. I cling to hope, and that this too shall pass. Thank you so much Cynthia for sharing.

  6. This was so touching. I know only the name, Sara Teasdale, but have never read any of her work. What a great introduction. So simple and true. Hope you are well and safe, Cynthia.

  7. Ah very true, I fear our biggest problem as humankind is our love for pointing fingers at everybody and everything but ourselves. As soon as we realise the blame is on each and every one of us, we can start working on a future that is more in sync with nature.

    A beautiful message, thanks for sharing Cynthia.

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