Monday, 18 June 2007

Audience participation

I need help (insert joke here). At about 5pm today, I was taking a load of washing out of the machine in my almost windowless outhouse, when there was a massive bang overhead. It took me about ten seconds to realise that it was thunder, and not the roof coming in, and we then had yet another torrential downpour, complete with all the bangs and flashes you could want. I have to admit, I love a good thunderstorm, although I'm sure I'd be less keen if my house was prone to being struck, or flooding or something.
Anyway, it set me thinking, trying to remember poems about thunderstorms. The thing is, I'm sure there are loads, including some very well-known ones, but my mind has gone totally blank.
All I could come up with was a song, although admittedly a pretty good one, Bob Dylan's Chimes Of Freedom. That "for the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones and worse" line is a favourite.
Anyway, can you help? Suggestions of great (or just good) thunderstorm poems, please...


Ben Wilkinson said...

While not strictly a thunderstorm poem, Jacob Polley's excellent poem 'April' features thunderstorm imagery and a general atmosphere of brooding over the changing weather. I couldn't find it online anywhere, but you can read one stanza from the poem in my review of Little Gods on The Poem site, here:

Rob said...

Tomas Transtromer's "A Winter's Night" is an excellent thunderstorm poem - the best version is by Robin Robertson in "The Deleted World" collection, but Robin Fulton and Robery Bly also do a good job.

I'll send you another one by email, by Bologna poet, Davide Rondoni, called Temporal - the Italian is "temporale", which can mean either "thunderstorm" or "temporal", and the poem is about both time and thunder.

Also, if you're desperate, in my chapbook, Light Storms from a Dark Country features lightning, although thunder isn't diectly mentioned.

Andrew Shields said...

Just playing around with poems that I have on my hard drive:

Amy Clampitt, "A Hermit Thrush" (sort of)

My "First Rain in Delhi" (there's a link to it on my blog, in the section of poem links)

Geoff Brock, "Northeaster" (in his book "Weighing Light")

My "Thumbnail Sketch" (in the latest issue of "Stand", though it's really about a tornado and not about a thunderstorm)

Bob Hicok, "Weather Report" -- on Verse Daily:

Matt Merritt said...

Aha! Thank you Ben, Rob and Andrew. I'll have fun looking through those.