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What are some of the poetic devices used in the poem "Song of the Rain" by Kahlil...

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royal121 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 18, 2011 at 7:48 PM via web

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What are some of the poetic devices used in the poem "Song of the Rain" by Kahlil Gibran?

This is the poem :-

I am dotted silver threads dropped from heaven 
By the gods. Nature then takes me, to adorn 
Her fields and valleys.

I am beautiful pearls, plucked from the 
Crown of Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn 
To embellish the gardens.

When I cry the hills laugh; 
When I humble myself the flowers rejoice; 
When I bow, all things are elated.

The field and the cloud are lovers 
And between them I am a messenger of mercy. 
I quench the thirst of one; 
I cure the ailment of the other.

The voice of thunder declares my arrival; 
The rainbow announces my departure. 
I am like earthly life, which begins at 
The feet of the mad elements and ends 
Under the upraised wings of death.

I emerge from the heard of the sea 
Soar with the breeze. When I see a field in 
Need, I descend and embrace the flowers and 
The trees in a million little ways.

I touch gently at the windows with my 
Soft fingers, and my announcement is a 
Welcome song. All can hear, but only 
The sensitive can understand.

The heat in the air gives birth to me, 
But in turn I kill it, 
As woman overcomes man with 
The strength she takes from him.

I am the sigh of the sea; 
The laughter of the field; 
The tears of heaven.

So with love - 
Sighs from the deep sea of affection; 
Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit; 
Tears from the endless heaven of memories.

1 Answer | Add Yours

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted January 23, 2011 at 2:28 AM (Answer #1)

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The two most important devices used in Gibran's "Song of the Rain" are metaphor and personification.

The first two stanzas begin, respectively, with the phrases "I am dotted silver threads dropped from heaven," and "I am beautiful pearls."  The poet does not mean this phrases literally; rather he means that the rain is like silver threads from heaven and beautiful pearls.  Such comparisons that do not use the words "like" or "as" are called metaphors.

Gibran also makes extensive use of personification, which means that he speaks about inanimate objects--such as the rain and fields--as if they were human.  Examine, for example, stanza 3:

When I cry, the hills laugh;

When I humble myself the flowers rejoice;

When I bow, all things are elated.

Stanzas 4-8 also contain many examples of personification.

The poem also contains two similes--comparisons that do use the words "like" or "as."  The rain is "like earthly like," and it "kills" the heat in the air "as woman overcomes man with / The strength she takes from him."

"Song of the Rain" also contains an interesting reference to another work of art; this is known as an allusion.  Stanza 2 reads:

I am beautiful pearls, plucked from the

Crown of Ishtar...

To embellish the gardens.

Ishtar was the ancient Middle Eastern goddess of love and fertility (among other things).  By comparing the rain to "pearls plucked from the Crown of Ishtar," the poet introduces the themes of rain as the great source of plant fertility, and also the theme of rain as a symbol of love.  This second theme--of rain's connection to love--is discussed in stanzas 3, 6, and 7.



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