Thursday, 20 September 2018


The poem talks about rain falling in the night and the effects of it on a small boy, the other brothers, the mother and the small improverished abode.

The boy wakes up not knowing the time as "no cock crow"

The rain starts falling hard. He takes into consideration the effects of this on his brothers who are advised to sleep on; on his mother who continuously shifts "her bins, bags and vats" so that the rain does not fall on them; on their roomlet which has a roofing leak. 

The boy, in his sleep befudged mind, is also able to imagine the world outside in terms of the owl, the iroko and the bats. Feeling safe, he turns back to sleep.


The following are the themes of Night Rain by John Pepper Clark that was able to fetch through research and findings:

(1) Man and Nature: He discusses the forces of nature through a natural phenomenon and that man is not to run away from the latter but face it and become unified with it.

(2) Solidarity of Humanity: Under the unrelenting forces of nature man should stick together as the family did.

(3) Poverty: The family becomes an epitome of the general level of poverty prevalent among humans even in the face of something so powerful as a natural phenomenon.

The poet examines man in interdependence with rain_ a natural phenomenon. Man is seen as depending on the environment, suppressed by it but also fighting and getting united in the face of its onslaught.

The poet sees all the actions in the poem through the eyes of a small boy whose innocence can be contrasted to the stark, naked and vicious force of nature. 

We see the attack of the rain in the night on the small household which is poverty-ridden. Notwithstanding this, the family is able to overcome and stay united against the vicious night attack as they are able to go back to sleep, so innocent and free.

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)


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