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NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Poem Chapter 3:The Voice of the Rain

Composed by Walt Whitman, the poem narrates a conversation between rain and the poet. The rain in the poem has been personified as a feminine entity. In the poem, the rain identifies herself when the poet asks her about her identity.

The poem begins with the poet Walt Whitman questioning the soft-falling rain "who art thou?" to which the rain answers that she is a "Poem of Earth", which the poet deemed as strange. She elaborates on whom she is by saying that she cannot be touched as she rises "impalpable out of the land" and the depths of the "bottomless sea". The fourth line, "vaguely form'd" indicates the rain's vapour form, which has no definite shape or volume, yet the composition remains the same. After she rises upwards to "heaven", she descends again on the dusty surface to "lave the droughts". She remarks that the seeds would remain unborn; it is due to her that seeds sprout into young plants. She remarks that she remains unaffected if someone notices or does not notice her work as she is a song that completes her journey to return to her birthplace, just like the poet. The poet remains unaffected, and the song that originates from his heart returns to him duly with love.

The poem provides readers with vivid imagery of the rain by calling it a "soft-falling shower". The expression "bottomless sea" serves as hyperbole in the poem. The rain's personification can be clearly distinguished from the line "I am the Poem of Earth…


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