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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  210 ratings  ·  30 reviews
In this, his first volume of original verse since the award-winning "Landing Light," Don Paterson is found writing at his most memorable and direct. In an assembly of masterful lyrics and monologues, he conjures a series of fables and charms that serve both to expose us to the unsettling forces within the world and to offer some protection against them. Whether outwardly e ...more
Hardcover, 61 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Faber & Faber (first published March 16th 2009)
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Paterson is at his most mellow and accessible here. Nevertheless, no chit chat or beatific love poetry in this collection. Rain is patterned with grand philosophical questions. The feeling of cosmic forlornness that pervades the earlier work is there. The poet makes grim fun of our human hubris, the risible failings of our cognitive faculties and our delusional desire for control over a nature that does quite well without this meddlesome human species, thank you. One of the poems I love to revis ...more
I loved Don Paterson's earlier collection, Landing Light, when I first heard him read in 2005. So I was eager to dive into this latest volume of poems in forms that range from sonnet to haiku, poems in Scots dialect, and poems adapted from Spanish, French and Chinese (among others). Here, again, are the pliable rhythms and the searing intellect I've learned to expect from Paterson, this time in a darker key. This volume is loaded with elegy and metaphysical anxiety in the tradition of Larkin's " ...more
J.S. Watts
Rain is an interesting poetry collection, but I didn’t connect with it the way I connected with Landing Light. I read Rain because I liked Patterson’s Landing Light so much. Unfortunately, for me, Rain was something of an anti-climax.

It is a collection of lyric poems and monologues, most of them traditionally rhythmic and rhyming, which summon up charms, fables and memories with which to explore the world. Because I draw on fable, myth and memory in my own writing, I was doubly attracted to the
Oh my goodness, it's as if it has literally never occurred to Don Paterson that rhyming is optional, or as if he lives in a weird parallel universe where Eliot, Auden, Dylan Thomas, and Ted Hughes never existed, and John Betjeman is considered good. Not that I mind rhymes in modern poetry -- my favorite poet is Philip Larkin, after all -- but it needs to be done better than this end-stopped doggerel.

I'm being harsh. To be sure, there are some memorable poems in this book -- "The Lie," for instan
Danny Daley
It's rare that I find a well received collection that I dislike so much. The structures of the poems are varied, almost as exercises, and yet they all still feel so rigid and dry. In reading other reviews, readers have exposited some of the poems, and I find myself thinking "Where did you see that?" The poems are, for me, relatively lifeless.
Gunita Zaube
Some excellent poems, emotional and philosophical. It's a joy to read them.

My favourite poems in this collection - "The Story of the Blue Flower", "Why do you stay up so late?", "Sky Song" and "The Landscape".

Mark Foulkes
There is no doubt this is a great collection of poems. It deals with the big questions about existence, the human condition and the difficulties with perception. Despite its philosophical range the poems still maintain warmth and humour and a human scale.
My two favourite pieces in the book are the poem 'The Bathysphere'..which conjures up the idea of a man who buys a second-hand (and as it turns out, very well-used) underwater craft and sits in it for two years on dry land, and 'Song For Natalie
Some real absolute gems in here, favourites even, but not a complete love.
Rui Carlos da Cunha
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Most of the poems in this collection use a variety of regular rhyming schemes, which is refreshing from a modern/post-modern poet. His non-rhyming work is excellent, too, though, as in:
"When they ask me what I saw, they all expect/ some blissed-out excuse for my not saying,/ but I know what I saw: I saw in everything/ the germ and genius of its own ascent,/ the fire of its increase; I saw the earth/ put forth the trees, like a woman her dark hair;/ I saw the sun's star and the river's river,/ I
Enjoy reading his poems but couldn't connect with this collection.
Rob the Obscure
I didn't like ALL of these poems. But I liked most of them, and some of them just left me arrested.

Paterson still uses rhyme, still uses form, much in a somewhat traditional way. But he is using it to express feelings and insights that are brutally honest.

Please read this. The poem "Rain" finishes the book, and the finish to the poem is simply brilliant.

"Phantom", about his friend Michael D., is simply stunning.

Please read.
Michael Palkowski
"Rain", the title piece (which appears at the end of the book)is fantastic. The quality wains occasionally however and the poetic construction seemed lazy at points, such as "had had" in a particular line. The content becomes at times like platitudes or lines that seem stripped of true purpose or content, but snapshots that have unknown relevance to the author himself. Despite this, it's a pleasant read with the odd stroke of brilliance.
Some excellent poems. Some too general-platitude-preachy ('we humans are this' 'we humans are that') even though agreed generally with the vision. Favourite poem a version of Cavafy, 'The Bowl-Maker'. Other good poems 'Two Trees', 'The Rain at Sea', 'The Story of the Blue Flower', 'The Wind', 'Phantom' (though 'Phantom' is mixed, a bit absolutist in parts). On the whole enjoyed very much, thought its praise deserved.
Michael Vagnetti
Characteristics of this book, that, in mentioning, I second: end-rhymes (Paterson is far more regular at this); combination of standard captitalization/punctuation and none; narrative poems; subjective personae; theme (multiple poems about rain, and a concept of rain); poems about concept of mind. He breaks out of form in "Song for Natalie 'Tusja' Beridze,' and a series of loose renku. There are also translations.
A bit too fond of platitude, and a bit too formalist in structure (particularly with regards rhyme scheme, where he shows a strong love of rhyming couplets that most frequently works, in my opinion, to the poems' detriment). A handful of enjoyable works, but overall not to my taste.

And, as a computer person, the Forward Prize-winning "Love Poem for Natalie 'Tusja' Beridze" was simply painful.
"Rain by Don Paterson, a Scottish poet and musician, is an accessible, yet bracingly astringent, book of poems that captures both Patterson’s local cadences and also vocalizes evocatively wider concerns of aging, loss, and grief." - Aziz Z. Huq

really wonderful, quizzical, graceful, dark but with a light touch...

unlike much other modern poetry I've read but in a very original way...

If you're looking for a new European (Scottish) poet to discover, you could do much, much worse than to spend an afternoon reading him (it won't be just an afternoon, either)
More pedestrian, predictable Paterson. Over rated. usual dreary Faber cover. Ladies & gentlemen, welcome to the 19th century literary curmudgeon society. Hang on hang on he made a pop culture reference. I take it all back. Somebody give the man an award. What? They already did...
My interest in and enjoyment of these poems rated only about 2 stars, but Paterson is obviously an accomplished poet
and the collection is tight so I gave it three. The poem "The Lie" is worth about four and there are a few other poems that sweetened the collection.
Dec 24, 2010 C rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry, 2010
I always get nervous when I don't adore something that was on someone's top 10 list. These read unremarkably, a few pleasant surprises here and there. Plain speech and rhyme, few images. But an endearing earnestness.
Mar 03, 2013 Sam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poems

Some beautiful poems here. Allusive as well as accessible, contemporary as well as atavistic.
Kate Dempsey
Read this again after seeing him at Poetry Now Festival. Lovely, clever perfectly worded poems.
John Pappas
Zen Larkin. A formalist with a bit of a ladish streak. Sometimes very beautiful.
An enjoyable collection of poetry. 'The Rain at Sea' was one I particularly enjoyed.
Graham Tennyson
'always take a spoon - it might rain soup;' .. this will always be true ...
Jennifer Mills
Tattered hummingbirds darting over the abyss.
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Poetry Readers Ch...: Rain, by Don Paterson 9 12 Jul 19, 2014 02:47PM  
Poetry Readers Ch...: Rain by Don Paterson 2 11 Apr 30, 2014 07:56PM  
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Don Paterson, OBE, FRSL, (born 1963) is a Scottish poet, writer and musician.
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“While you spoke, it reached into the room 
switching off the mirrors in their frames 
and undeveloping your photographs;
it gently drew a knife across the threads
that tied your keepsakes to the things they kept”
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