Sean O'Brien

Image by Caroline Forbes

Postcards to the Rain God (an extract)

Sean O'Brien

Postcards to the Rain God (an extract)

Sean O'Brien

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


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


Sean O'Brien

Sean O'Brien Reading from his Poems

1The Amateur God

2In a Military Archive

3Cousin Coat


5HMS Glasshouse

6Working on the Railway


8Ballad of the Lit and Phil

9After Laforgue


11Special Train


13Essay on Snow

14Reading Stevens in the Bath

15Welcome, Major Poet


17Songs from the Black Path, I, III


19Songs from the Drowned Book I, V


21Postcards to the Rain God (an extract)

22The Thing

23After Rilke: To Holderlin

Books by Sean O'Brien