Sara Teasdale: ‘There will come soft rains’

On this day in 1933 Sara Teasdale died.

Teasdale is largely forgotten – a great injustice, I think – except by those who’ve read Ray Bradbury’s short story in The Martian Chronicles which is a homage to this poem:

There will come soft rains (1915)

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,

And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pool 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.

Teasdale wrote wonderful poems. Her complete works are here. She rewards finding.

The Bradbury story, and indeed The Martian Chronicles (1950) in its entirety, is worth reading. It has been made into several radio plays, all of which are worth a listen. But the best, by far, is the production on X minus One in 1956.

A haunting voice, Teasdale’s, and one that speaks to me today.