Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's Raining in Love

This is a poem that always makes me smile. Since yesterday's post was a bit of a downer, I thought today I'd go for something more humorous.

IT’S RAINING IN LOVE
By Richard Brautigan
I don't know what it is,
but I distrust myself
when I start to like a girl
a lot.
It makes me nervous.
I don't say the right things
or perhaps I start
to examine,
evaluate,
compute
what I am saying.
If I say, "Do you think it's going to rain?"
and she says, "I don't know,"
I start thinking: Does she really like me?
In other words
I get a little creepy.
A friend of mine once said,
"It's twenty times better to be friends
with someone
than it is to be in love with them."
I think he's right and besides,
it's raining somewhere, programming flowers
and keeping snails happy.
That's all taken care of.
BUT
if a girl likes me a lot
and starts getting real nervous
and suddenly begins asking me funny questions
and looks sad if I give the wrong answers
and she says things like,
"Do you think it's going to rain?"
and I say, "It beats me,"
and she says, "Oh,"
and looks a little sad
at the clear blue California sky,
I think: Thank God, it's you, baby, this time
instead of me.

To make being in love a bad thing (though tongue-in-check, of course) is hard to do, but Brautigan manages to do it with seeming ease. We've all felt that sickness, the ache of unrequited "like" and so it's easy to relate to the speaker. When the turn comes, and the speaker looks at a woman who in "in like" with him, he's just happy it's not himself that's feeling the pain. Genius.

This is just another poem that emphasizes the story-telling aspect of contemporary poetry that I find so appealing for some reason. It doesn't try to do anything but narrate a man's thoughts on being in love; there are no poetic devices, no overt rhymes or meters, nothing to make it a textbook poem. But I challenge anyone to tell me that this isn't brilliant. Go ahead. I'll bet you can't do it.

2 comments:

Brittney said...

Actually this poem made it to my English textbook

Brittney said...

Actually this poem made it to my English textbook