Rain on the Roof Poem Stanza Wise Line by Line Explanation and Analysis

Explanation of The poem “Rain on the Roof” by Coates Kinney, stanza by stanza and line by line with meanings of words and phrases. The literal and deeper literary meanings are part of the stanza explanations. Click here for more such study materials.

Explanation of “Rain on the Roof”

Stanza 1

When the humid shadows hover
Over all the starry spheres
And the melancholy darkness
Gently weeps in rainy tears,
What a bliss to press the pillow
Of a cottage-chamber bed
And lie listening to the patter
Of the soft rain overhead!

Meanings: humid shadows: clouds (बादल); hover: take rounds above (ऊपर चक्कर काटना); starry spheres: night sky (रात्री का आकाश); melancholy: sad (गहरी उदासी ओर निराशा); bliss: great & perfect happiness, joy (परमानंद, स्वर्ग सा सुख); patter: rain gently (पटपटाना,टपटपाना); overhead: on the roof (छत पर)

Explanation: The poet describes a serene and comforting scene where the night is covered with humid shadows i.e. rain bearing clouds. The darkness of the night seems sad and tearful as it gently weeps with rain i.e. the night is embedded in rain. In this setting, the poet finds great joy in lying on a cozy bed in a cottage chamber, while listening to the gentle rhythmic sound of raindrops falling on the cottage roof. This patter of rain creates a soothing effect for the poet.

Literary Meaning: The first stanza sets the stage for the poem’s overall theme of finding solace and nostalgia in the sound of rain on the roof. It portrays a peaceful and intimate moment in the poet’s life, where he takes pleasure in the simple things like being safe and warm inside while rain falls outside. The use of “melancholy darkness” suggests that the rain is not seen as gloomy but rather as a soothing and calming presence.

Stanza 2

Every tinkle on the shingles
Has an echo in the heart;
And a thousand dreamy fancies
Into busy being start,
And a thousand recollections
Weave their air-threads into woof,
As I listen to the patter
Of the rain upon the roof.

Meanings: – tinkle: sound of rain drop (खनखनाना, टनटनाना); shingles: roof tiles (छत पर लगी चौकोर टाइल्स ); echo: reminding you something else (गूंज, पुरानी बातें याद आ जाना); dreamy fancies: dreamy fanciful imaginations (मन की रंगबिरंगी कल्पनाएँ); recollections: memories (यादें); weave: to make cloth or fabric (बुनना); air-threads: thread like structure of falling rain (बरसते पानी की धार); woof: weft, weave across the yarn to make a fabric (बाना, कपड़ा)

Literal Meaning: Each raindrop’s sound on the shingles creates an echo in the poet’s heart, evoking a thousand dreamy thoughts and fancies. The rain’s patter stirs up numerous memories that weave together like threads in a fabric, creating a rich tapestry of thoughts and emotions as the poet continues to listen to the rain.

And a thousand recollections
Weave their air-threads into woof,

The poet means to say that his memories and the rainfall (threads in air) mix together (intertwine with rain threads) to form (weave) a pattern just as threads in a loom mix (twist one into other) to weave fabric.

Literary Meaning: The second stanza delves deeper into the emotional impact of the rain’s sound. The rain acts as a catalyst for the poet’s imagination and introspection. It triggers a flood of memories and emotions, symbolized by the “thousand dreamy fancies” and “thousand recollections.” The rain’s gentle patter becomes a metaphor for the way certain experiences or stimuli can open the floodgates of the mind, leading to a cascade of thoughts and feelings.

Stanza 3

Now in memory comes my mother,
As she used in years agone,
To regard the darling dreamers
Ere she left them till the dawn:
O! I feel her fond look on me
As I list to this refrain
Which is played upon the shingles
By the patter of the rain.

Meanings: in years agone: in past years of life (बीत गए वर्षो में ); regard: to look at with attention and care (प्यार से देखना, मानना); darling dreamers: the siblings of the poet who are sleeping (कवि के भाई -बहन जो सो रहे हैं); ere: before; dawn: early morning; fond: loving (प्यार ओर स्नेह से भरी हुई); list: listen; refrain: lines or words regularly repeated after each verse ( गीत या कविता में दोहराई जानने वाले शब्द या पंक्तियाँ ).

Literal Meaning: The sound of the rain on the roof brings back memories of the poet’s mother, who used to lovingly watch over him and his siblings as they dreamed before going to sleep. The poet feels the warmth of his mother’s gaze on him as he listens to the rain’s comforting rhythm.

Literary Meaning: The third stanza introduces a personal and nostalgic element to the poem. The rain becomes a trigger for the poet’s memories of his mother, adding an emotional layer to the already calming atmosphere. It highlights the theme of family, love, and the enduring connection with loved ones who may no longer be present physically but remain alive in cherished memories. The rain’s patter becomes a conduit that bridges the present moment with the past, allowing the poet to feel his mother’s presence once more.

Overall, the poem “Rain on the Roof” by Coates Kinney is a beautiful and lyrical meditation on the healing power of rain. The poet uses vivid imagery and personal memories to create a moving and evocative portrait of the experience of listening to the rain. Through the imagery of raindrops falling on the roof, the poet finds comfort, reflection, and a sense of connection to both the natural world and his personal memories.

The poem is a reminder that even on the darkest of nights, there is always hope. The poem encourages readers to appreciate the simple joys in life and the power of nature to evoke deep emotions and memories.

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