Sunday, April 17, 2011

Listen to the Rain

Last night the rain fell and Emmy awoke talking about the sounds she heard. She wondered if it was a dream, but when I opened her curtains she saw the wet ground and the raindrops that clung to her window. "Mommy it was real!" I also heard the rain and was reminded of a beautiful poem by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault titled Listen to the Rain.

Listen to the rain,
the whisper of the rain,
the slow soft sprinkle,
the drip-drop tinkle,
the first wet whisper of the rain.

Listen to the rain,
the singing of the rain,
the tiptoe pitter-patter,
the splish and splash and splatter,
the steady sound of the rain.

Listen to the rain,
the rouring pouring rain,
the hurly-burly topsy-turvy
lashing gnashing teeth of rain,
the lightning-flashing
sounding pounding roaring rain,
leaving all outdoors a muddle,
a mishy mushy muddy puddle.

Listen to the quietude,
the silence and the solitude of after-rain,
the dripping, dripping, dropping,
the slowly, slowly stopping,
the fresh wet silent after-time of rain.

I now know that this poem is in book form (Listen to the Rain) beautifully illustrated by James Endicott. The melody of the poem and the abstract designs of the illustrations offer new ways of listening and seeing. This book is a wonderful introduction to onomatopoeia which was always a favorite with my second graders, and a beginning to an understanding for Emmy of words that represent sounds.

Besides "Singing in the Rain," another favorite video that Emmy and I have been enjoying lately is a performance of Toto's "Africa," by a Slovenian jazz choir called Perpetuum Jazzile. The group begins and ends the song by simulating the sound of rain with their hands and feet - amazing!

April Rain Song

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drips
Let the rain sing you a lullaby

The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

~Langston Hughes~

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