Poem introduction

'Postcards from the Rain God'is a series of about a dozen brief, dramatic lyrics, I suppose, about rain in various Northern settings, and the eleventh of them is dedicated to Peter Didsbury, a fellow poet, on his fiftieth birthday - he is a great pluviophile.

Postcards to the Rain God (an extract)

from Postcards to the Rain God
for Peter Didsbury on his fiftieth birthday

11

You sit in your shed in the rain.
In its peppercorn racket
You have a much better idea:
Marks on paper, made from the pluvial sexual
Ink of the Iris and Pearson Park pond-rain.
Messages unread, a century
From now: Today a cloudburst settling
Its anvil on the slates.
Then longer, softer rain - I cannot tell you how -
Is like piano-islands
In the pond. Ad
Maiorem Pluvii gloriam.


from Cousin Coat (Picador, 2002), copyright © Sean O'Brien 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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Sean O'Brien

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1The Amateur God

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2In a Military Archive

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3Cousin Coat

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4Before

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5HMS Glasshouse

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6Working on the Railway

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7Propaganda

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8Ballad of the Lit and Phil

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9After Laforgue

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10Revenants

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11Special Train

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12Rain

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13Essay on Snow

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14Reading Stevens in the Bath

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15Welcome, Major Poet

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16Nineties

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17Songs from the Black Path, I, III

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18Ravilious

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19Songs from the Drowned Book I, V

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20Cities

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21Postcards to the Rain God (an extract)

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22The Thing

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23After Rilke: To Holderlin

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Books by Sean O'Brien