on roof tops.
in down pipes.
Pitters of patters
Violent in motion,
– be banks, on streets.
to drain pipes.
Labourious is torrent
– be rivers, like Styx.
my wild heart.
The memory of pitters of patters.
The violence of wild water,
when rain drops go
by Hans Lee, 2019
I wrote this listening to the raindrops pitter patter-ing on the rooftop while the storm passed outside. Some city dwellers enjoy the respite that the rain brings from the torrid heat of the tropic, but the water is also unkind to others under the guise of climate change.
Imagining the anxiety of those who have been subjected to the violence of many pitters of patters, I inquire about the memory sounds conjure up. If you listen to the sound of the language used, the rhythm builds to a crescendo and subsides at the end. The sound of the rain growing louder, then subsiding. Stanza 1 starts slowly, builds violently through the 2nd and 3rd Stanza before it is caught and Ends.
Stanza 4 is the moment you hear the subject’s voice, or inner monologue, giving you an insight into their mental-emotional state. Their anxiety grows and then subsides with the sound of rain, soliciting a call to calmness – “Keep tame, my wild heart”.
The reference to the River Styx is the focal point to the poem in Stanza 3, as it is intentional, playing a crucial role in illustrating two particular points. First, is the parallel between the River Styx being a subterranean river in Greek Mythology, playing to the image of the drain being an underground to which all raindrops end up.
Second, and most important, is that the River Styx carries a sombre reference to the association of death with water, an important point that should connect the reader to the subject. This is why “be rivers, like Styx”, draws out the subject’s inner monologue in Stanza 4, and, like I enjoy doing with all my pieces of writing, I tie the end of the poem to the beginning using a form of repetition.
“when rain drops go
Just like I did with this brain dump ; )