Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to debut the poetry of Michelle Luo with “The Rain”. Luo is a sophomore at Baruch College in New York City and student of Frequent Contributor James Frederick William Rowe.
Droplets ripple through the tides of the silent pools
Rain pours down the city lights
We look up from the pond to face the stormy night
to see the stars hidden behind the facades.
Though there’s no light that slips through the sorrow night of the crying clouds of grey
The sky roars the tremor hidden deep inside our souls as we buckle to our knees
We look up once more to the stars that are searching for their way to our eyes
But we draw them shut before the twilight shows.
The wetness soaks us to our shoulders as we turn to grieve
To grieve for our own sorrows
To look back upon our regrets as the night draws into darkness
The clouds draw back, and the mist clears
Yet we still lay there
on our knees with tears trickling down our cheeks
We look upon the night sky wondering what we did wrong
and we realize that the night is just an illusion.
All that has passed and all that has been done
have been wiped away clean by the rain
All the regret is buried as our tears penetrate the soil
We rise to our feet and look up to see the moon
free of the stars’ gaze as we walk down the flooded ground.
We turn around to repent
but see nothing behind us but the smiles of our old memories.
Poet's Notes: I believe that everyone has been through rough times in life. We all look back and wish we could turn back time and do things differently. Sadly, time does not stop, and we risk drawing further and further into sorrow until the day we learn to let the past go.
In this poem, I try to create a tone of despair in the first stanza. I want to paint with words the feelings that one may experience.
The second stanza is the turning point of the poem, and there is a shift in the tone. From the feeling of despair, the speaker moves in to a state of recovery, and the tone slowly becomes more light-hearted. I would not say that the speaker is fully happy, but he or she feels relieved. It would be the same feeling as someone taking a breath of fresh air and taking the first initiative to see the world as somewhere he or she belongs again.
This poem was inspired by my own feelings when my grandma passed away two years ago. Sometimes pain expressed in poetry seems so beautiful. It also makes it easier for us to express our emotions without being too blunt.
Editor’s Note: The water motif is expertly executed. I especially enjoy the way Luo uses different forms of water (rain, pools, tears, floods) to create subtly different metaphors. The mood she creates here, at once somber and hopeful, results in a nice emotional release for the reader--a thing for which most poets strive but few achieve. The narrative is pleasant and easy to follow.
It is a rare honor and privilege to debut a poet, and I am particularly pleased to be the first to publish the work of this up-and-coming young versifier. I shall follow her career with great interest.