‘The Voice of the Rain’ by Walt Whitman is in the form of a conversation between the poet and the ‘rain’. The poet asks the rain ‘who are you ?’. To this question, the rain replies that it is the poem of the earth, it rises continuously in the form of vapour and returns to earth in the form of rains. It says that it purifies earth and also gives life to it. It returns to earth exactly like a song, which finally return to its singer in the form of appreciation after it is heard everywhere round the globe.
Important Question and Answers
Q. The poem begins in a conversational tone. Who are the two participants in this conversation?
Ans. The two participants are the poet and the rain. The poet makes the rain relate its own story. This direct presentation makes the narration more authentic, interesting and captivating.
Q. How did the poet look at the rain? What did he ask it?
Ans. The poet looked at the rain as ‘the soft falling shower’ and asked who she was.
Q. What questions does the poet put the rain and how does he feel when he gets the answer?
Ans. The poet watches the falling showers of the rain. The showers are falling very lightly producing a soft music. The poet is fascinated and asks who it is. Strangely enough, the rain itself answer the questions posed to it. The poet feels really surprised to get an answer and translates the answer into his own language.
Q. How does the rain justify its claim: ‘I am the Poem of Earth’?
Ans. In poem ‘The Voice of the Rain,’ the rain is personified and describes what it is and what it does. In short, the poem describes the cycle of rain.
Q. What is the cycle of the song? What does it represent?
Ans. The cycle of the song is that it issues from its birthplace and fulfilment and moving reck’d unreck’d returns to its origin with love.
Q. What does the rain do day and night to the things?
Ans. The rain gives back life to its own origin and continues making it pure and beautiful. This action of rain is automatic. It is a source of life to all things without which it would remain seeds only.
Q. On what does the rain descent? What does it do to those things on which it falls?
Ans. The rain descends on droughts, atoms and dust particles on the surface of the earth. It also falls on everything that is there. It gives life to those things on which it falls. The things not getting it remain seeds only, latent and unborn.
Q. “Eternal, I rise impalpable”. What gives eternity to rain?
Ans. Rain water cycle makes it eternal as it rises out of the land and deep sea. It gathers in the sky, changes its form and then comes down to the earth.
Q. What answer does rain give to the poet about its origin?
Ans. The rain answered the poet that it was the Poem of Earth. It rose eternally out of the land and the bottomless sea into the sky. There, it is formed vaguely and changed its form. But it remains the same.
Q. Why is rain compared to music?
Ans. The poet compares the rain with music. The poet watches the falling showers of the rain. The showers are falling very lightly producing a soft music. Like music, rain too is life giving and inspirational. It spreads love and joy.
Q. Behind the apparent simplicity, the poem hides a deep meaning. What exactly does the poem convey to the reader?
Ans. The poem is not merely a description of life-cycle of rain. It has deeper meaning. Rain is a poem or thing of beauty of Earth and so is song or music. The comparison between rain and music and their function, making the Earth pure and beautiful conveys the eternal role of natural phenomenon and art in real life.
Q. How does the rain describe herself in the poem ‘The Voice of the Rain’?
Ans. The rain calls itself poem of earth. It is everlasting and perpetual. It is something that cannot be touched. It originates from the land and the deep sea. Then it rises upward to heaven where it changes its forms into a cloud, yet remains the same in quality. From the sky it pours down on earth to wash the dry thin particles and dust layers of the earth. The rain helps the unborn seeds to sprout. These seeds lay hidden and unborn under the layer of earth. Rain gives back life to its origin making it pure and beautiful.