Lesson #163: There Will Come Soft Rains

When I was 15, my English class had to read the Ray Bradbury short story, There Will Come Soft Rains.* Footnoted at the bottom of this was the fact that the title was based on the Sara Teasdale poem of the same name.

It occurred to me today that despite having had that knowledge for 15 years, I have never actually read the poem even though it’s included in the story, so I thought I’d remedy that.** I had always assumed that the poem was about spring and stuff. It’s really not. It’s about exactly the same thing that the Ray Bradbury story is about — more or less. Teasdale’s poem was written in the immediate aftermath of the First World War; Bradbury’s story is about a nuclear holocaust. Both, however, are about life continuing (in Teasdale’s case nature, in Bradbury’s an automated house) without noticing the annihilation of humanity.

The poem can be found here, among many other places. The short story is here.

*It’s actually the August 2026 chapter of The Martian Chronicles and it’s an excellent story. I highly recommend it.

**I really don’t like poetry. I can’t tell you how many poetry units I bluffed my way through in high school.

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