Tuesday, 14 August 2012

There will come soft rains...

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
A poem by Sara Teasdale, first published 1920.
Thirty years later, in 1950, a short story was published, by Ray Bradbury science fiction author.  The story was loosely based on the Sara Teasdale poem of the same title but of course she, in her time (she took her own life in 1933), would have had no knowledge of the intimated cause of the situation depicted in the Bradbury story.  Interestingly, or perhaps I should say sadly, Ray Bradbury passed on on 5 June 2012 at age 91, only around ten weeks before I write this.  There are other links in this chain of related works...
Four years ago, in 2008, a young Scot, Peter Cotter, produced an animated video based on the Ray Bradbury story, based in turn on the Sara Teasdale poem.  Cotter is a young photographer and animator who from 2006-2008 studied at the Glasgow School of Art. According to his resume of 2008 he was awarded The Motion Graphics Award for outstanding achievement in animation and time-based media, presumably for this dramatic, poignant and beautiful animated video.

This chain of links goes one step further in that, although the poem on which all of this is based is a very well known work, I first read of it today in a blog post by Damien Perrotin. Here is an article that explores our reluctance to accept the likely fate of our civilisation, as all civilisations do in time pass away, yet we are fascinated with the idea of joyfully continuing to trash the biosphere on which we depend for life.
Of course, though I claim no artistic merit or input into the process, this, my own post, is the final link in this current web of connections on the subject.  Or is it?

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