Khalil Gibran born on January 6, 1883 was a Lebanese poet, artist, and writer. As a young man, he immigrated to the United States where he studied art and began his literary career; writing both in English and Arabic. In the Arab world, he is considered as a political rebel and in Lebanon, he is a literary hero. ‘The Prophet’ is one of his most famous works, a series of philosophical essays written in English prose. He died at the age of 48 in New York City from tuberculosis. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all times after Shakespeare and Laozi.
“Song of the Rain” by Khalil Gibran is an autobiography of the rain. The poem consists of 10 stanzas. Each of these stanzas is again made up of variable numbers of lines. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 9th stanzas are made up of 3 lines. The 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th stanzas are made up of 4 lines. The 5th stanza is made up of 5 lines. Hence, the entire poem consists of 37 lines in total. This poem is written in the first person, and the speaker of the poem is rain. Rain is personified in this poem and is described as something divine and characteristic of gods. Here in this article, we are going through a detailed line by line summary of the poem ‘Song of the Rain’.
Suggested Reading: Prefer a sneak peak into the word-meanings/annotations of this poem, consider going through our Song of the Rain detailed annotations before you begin with the summary. Thank you!
Summary of Song of the Rain by Khalil Gibran
I am dotted silver threads dropped from heaven
By the gods. Nature then takes me, to adorn
Her fields and valleys.
In this stanza, rain says that he takes the form of silver threads and he comes from heaven by the express orders of the gods. Once he reaches the ground, he is put to use by Mother Nature in order to beautify the fields and valleys that make up her domain.
I am beautiful pearls, plucked from the
Crown of Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn
To embellish the gardens.
In this stanza, rain says that he looks like the very pearls that made up the crown of the goddess named Ishtar and that have then been detached from the crown atop the goddess’ head. This is the doing of Dawn’s daughter, and she does so in order to beautify her own garden.
When I cry the hills laugh;
When I humble myself the flowers rejoice;
When I bow, all things are elated.
In this stanza, rain says that his tears bring laughter to the hills, his modesty brings joy to flowers and his bow brings delight to every member of the natural world.
The field and the cloud are lovers
And between them I am a messenger of mercy.
I quench the thirst of one;
I cure the ailment of the other.
In this stanza, rain says that he is a messenger between the field and the cloud and he sends the love letters of each to the other. However, rain also provides relief to them both individually. He satiates the thirst of the field, and he cures the cloud of its pregnant state by giving birth to rain.
The voice of thunder declares my arrival;
The rainbow announces my departure.
I am like earthly life, which begins at
The feet of the mad elements and ends
Under the upraised wings of death.
In this stanza, the rain says that his arrival is always preceded by the sound of thunder from the sky. Similarly, the rainbow warns of the time when rain will be leaving. The life cycle of rain is as brief as that of human life. Human beings are born of the earth, and the rain is born another of the elements – water. Similarly, both rain and human life cannot continue forever.
I emerge from the heart of the sea
Soar with the breeze. When I see a field in
Need, I descend and embrace the flowers and
The trees in a million little ways.
In this stanza, rain says that his life begins from the depth of the sea, then he is raised up into the air and moves along with the breeze. As he is flying above the earth, he looks out for which field needs him. When he finds a field like this, he comes down and hugs every little flower and every leaf on the trees.
I touch gently at the windows with my
Soft fingers, and my announcement is a
Welcome song. All can hear, but only
The sensitive can understand.
In this stanza, rain says that he touches the windows of every human household, and their inhabitants are relieved at his coming. Every man alive can hear the sound of rain, but only the emotional ones among them can appreciate how important that sound is.
The heat in the air gives birth to me,
But in turn I kill it,
As woman overcomes man with
The strength she takes from him.
In this stanza, rain says that he is born from the hot air of the atmosphere, but he also gets rid of that warmth by his downpour. Rain then compares this with the way in which woman takes her strength from man but then uses that strength to overpower the man.
I am the sigh of the sea;
The laughter of the field;
The tears of heaven.
In this stanza, rain says that when the sea sighs and lets out its breath, the process of the birth of rain begins. Rain also gives the field a reason to laugh. Lastly, rain is, in fact, the tears cried by the gods in heaven.
So with love –
Sighs from the deep sea of affection;
Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;
Tears from the endless heaven of memories.
In this stanza, rain speaks as if he’s signing off a letter. He offers his love along with the sighs of the sea, the laughter of the field and the tears of heaven, all of which form essential parts of the human persona. If you wish to read the analysis in the Hindi language, do check the link below.
Suggested Reading: Summary of Song of the Rain by Khalil Gibran in Hindi
Detailed Analysis: We have considered your feedback and did a detailed analysis of quite a few poems at Beamingnotes. Luckily, the poem you’re reading now, Song of the Rain does have a detailed analysis. This will help you understand the poem in great depth and help you score well in your CBSE and board exams! Here are the following links- For annotations: Song of the Rain Meaning ; For detailed critical analysis: Critical Analysis of Song of the Rain ; For theme, tone, central idea of the poem: Tone and Central Idea of Song of the Rain and for suggested solved questions: Solved Question and Answers from Song of the Rain.
Thus to wrap up, Song of the Rain is an extremely touchy poem with deeper meanings. The poem does consist of a series of imageries which you can further study to have a detailed understanding. It is one of the best poems written by Gibran and tries to imitate human psychology in the form of the autobiography of an inanimate object like rain. Hope, this summary and its suggested links are helpful to our students.