“The Rain Stick” #ListenToAPoem [National Poetry Month]

April 18, 2022

“The Rain Stick” by Seamus Heaney

National Poetry Month: "The Rain Stick" (image: a man holding a large rain stick)

Image Source: How to Play a Rain Stick

For #NationalPoetryMonth I am sharing one poem a week and spotlighting authors. I hesitate to copy the poem in this post because I do not want to break copyright laws, so I’ll link to it and hopefully you’ll click over and we can discuss it back here!

Honestly, I don’t read a great deal of poetry. My favorite form of poetry is a free verse novel (a full post on that coming Friday)….is that cheating? I’m looking forward to selected poetry in April so I can discover some new favorite poems and authors.

“The Rain Stick” by Seamus Herney

Who remembers having a teacher who used a rain stick to gain students’ attention? Who has bought a rain stick at a souvineer stand or toy store? If you are a teacher who has a rain stick or you have a middle-grade child with a rain stick, you might enjoy this poem! How do you “listen” to a poem?

Here’s a “sound” poem I think you might enjoy along with tips about “listening” to a poem.

Read “Rainstick” by Seamus Heaney

Hear “a rain stick” and hear “The Rain Stick” read for you here.

  • OK….what did you think?
  • Did this poem bring back childhood memories?
  • If you were to write a “sound” poem, what subject would you choose?

Meet the Author, Seamus Heaney

Poet Seamus HeaneySeamus Heaney is widely recognized as one of the major poets of the 20th century. A native of Northern Ireland, Heaney was raised in County Derry, and later lived for many years in Dublin. He was the author of over 20 volumes of poetry and criticism, and edited several widely used anthologies. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.” Heaney taught at Harvard University (1985-2006) and served as the Oxford Professor of Poetry (1989-1994). He died in 2013.


Can you relate to this poem in some way?
Does this poem bring back a childhood memory?
If you were to write a “sound” poem, which subject would you chose?

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

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~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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  1. I liked listening to the reading while he manipulated the rain stick, it added so much to the poem. Great share, Carole.

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