Rain on the Roof Summary

Bookmark added to your notes.
View Notes

About the Poet

Coates Kinney was an American lawyer, politician and journalist. 


In the poem ‘Rain on the Roof’, the poet highlights the soothing and healing quality of nature. Rain is a healing phenomenon of nature. The poet relaxes in his room when the rain starts falling and the sound of the rain creates echoes in his heart. The music fills the poet’s mind with many fond memories from his childhood. Out of these ‘dreamy fancies’, the poet can identify a memory of his childhood that is associated with his mother. He remembers his mother’s loving looks when he and his sibling used to sleep. Thus, the coming of the rain is always blissful and pleasant.

Short Summary of Rain on the Roof Class 9

This poem tells us what the poet feels about when it is raining. There is healing power in the falling of the rain on the roof when one hears it falling, lying in a cosy bed. The poet says that it is a pleasant experience to live and sleep comfortably in a cottage on a rainy night. The falling of the rain brings dreamy imaginations and we start recollecting some smoothing and pleasure-giving memories. The poet goes back to his childhood and remembers his mother. 

Explanation by Stanza

Stanza 1

When the humid shadows hover

Over all the starry spheres,

And the melancholy darkness

Gently weeps in rainy tears,

What a bliss to press the pillow

Of a cottage-chamber bed,

And lie listening to the patter

Of the soft rain overhead!

In these lines, the poet describes a rainy night. The poet says that the stars in the sky are not visible as the dark rainy clouds cover them. The sky looks sad and the rain looks as if tears are falling from human eyes. This weather represents the poet’s sorrowful mood. In such a mood, the only thing that can bring joy in the poet’s heart is to lie down on the pillow of his bed in his cottage and listen to the soft sound of the rain falling on the roof.

Stanza 2

Every tinkle on the shingles

Has an echo in the heart;

And a thousand dreamy fancies

Into busy being start,

And a thousand recollections

Weave their air-threads into woof,

As I listen to the patter

Of the rain upon the roof.

In these lines, the poet describes how the raindrops make a tinkling sound as they fall on the tiled rooftop of his cottage. According to the poet, each sound made by the rain is echoed by his heartbeats. In other words, the sound of the poem makes a deep impact on the poet. As he is listening to the sound, many imaginations come into his mind.  The poet described his imaginations as ‘dreamy fancies’ that come into his mind in the stanza. He goes back to his childhood memories. These memories appear to be interwoven together to form a beautiful picture. 

Stanza 3

Now in memory comes to my mother,

As she used in years agone,

To regard the darling dreamers,

Ere she left them till dawn:

O! I feel her fond look on me

As I list to this refrain

Which is played upon the shingles

By the patter of the rain.

In these lines, the poet says that out of the many memories the poet recollects, he identifies one fond memory of his mother that soothes his mind and heart. He remembers how many years ago, his mother used to look at him and his siblings lovingly while they slept and used to dream. She would look at her children sleeping every night because she knew she wouldn’t see them till the next morning. The poet can still feel the look of his mother while he lies on his bed and listens to the soft musical sound of the rain falling on the roof. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. How Does the Poet Describe the Movement Before the Rain?

Ans. Before the rain, the dark wet shadows of clouds hover over the sky. The stars become spheres as these clouds cover them. There is darkness all around and the atmosphere becomes very gloomy and sad. 

Q2. What Does the Poet Consider ‘a Bliss’?

Ans. The poet considers listening to the sound of the failing of rain a bliss. When it rains, the poet lies in his cosy bed in a cottage, listening to the melody of nature. He listens to the pleasant pattering sound of the rain on the roof of the cottage. 

Q3. What Does the Poet Dream of?

Ans. While listening to the soft sound of rain falling on the roof, the poet thought of many images and memories. From those fancies, the poet dreamt of the memory of his mother. He recollected his childhood memoirs when his mother used to lovingly look at him and his siblings while they used to sleep and dream.

Q4. What Does the Poet Want to Convey When He Says ‘When the Humid Shadows Hover Over All the Starry Spheres’?

Ans. The poet wants to convey that when the dark rain clouds (humid shadows) cover the whole sky so that the stars (starry spheres) are not visible, it is a sign that rain is going to start. The poet compares darkness with sadness or these humid clouds resulting in rain.