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.

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The field and cloud are personified as lovers, and the rain is compared, via metaphor, to a "messenger of mercy."  The speaker, the rain, says,

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.

Personification is when the poet gives human attributes to something nonhuman, and here the field and cloud have been given the abilities to feel love, to be thirsty, and to have ailments.  As a "messenger of mercy," the rain serves both the cloud and field, alleviating the thirst that the field feels and helping the cloud to rid itself of its "ailment," perhaps the burden of carrying so much water.

There is further personification in the lines,

When I see a field in 
Need, I descend and embrace the flowers and
The trees in a million little ways.

These lines ascribe consciousness and intention to the rain, as though it knows where it is most needed and then falls there as if to assist and even love whatever it is on which it falls; the word "embrace" is quite intimate. Furthering this sense of rain's intimacy with the world, it says,

I touch gently at the windows with my
Soft fingers, and my announcement is a 
Welcome song.  

The personification of the rain continues as it acquires "Soft fingers" with which it touches our windows.

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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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