Lack of connection with nature and others has destructive impacts on the overall society. John Foulcher depicts the idea of the lack of connection of our society with the Mother Nature and with others through his poem “Summer Rain”. Not only this he also indicates that we are not only blowing the humanity away but also condemning nature. Foulcher starts his poem with an ironic topic ‘Summer Rain’ which usually sets up expectations of nature, joy, cleansing and beauty but instead we see disconnection from nature, traffic jam and pollution. Our society plays a crucial role in the destruction of nature. John sets the frustrating and depressing tone of the poem by starting from an accident and with the use of alliteration, “Clutters” to capture the idea of frustration that he gets after seeing an accident on the highway. The idea of being trapped on a highway after an accident, where the cars stop one after the other and make the highway congested is shown by the use of simile “like abacus beads”.
Foulcher personifies the ‘sunlight scrawls’ to reinforce the idea of struggle and pollution as the sunlight is desperate to come out but the pollution is stopping it from doing so. This idea of pollution and degradation displayed so far links back to the idea of us playing a crucial role in the destruction of nature as humans are the one who produce pollution and degrade nature. With the fate of industrialisation, human life has become monotonous resulting in truncated connection with nature and loss of relationships with others, as the poet wrenches him from the road and instead of seeing nature around him sees the urban sprawl. The poet invites us into the poem by the use of second person ‘You’ to sense the depressing tone se by him and what he is going through. Foulcher uses the metaphor “sub-division houses-teacups/ of colour from television set” which evokes the image of overcrowded suburbia and the disconnection from the nature. John also comments on the monotony of life.
“Steams rising from ovens and showers like mist across a swampland” Foulcher presents vivid imagery of disconnection from nature as he sees steams from ovens and pollution but not the swamplands and showers which leads back to the idea of loss of connection. John reinforces the idea of monotony of life by the use of metaphor “the cricket sounds of voices and cutlery” which links back to the monotony of life and highlights the absence of nature as he hears the sound of cutlery but not the sound of crickets. Furthermore the poet talks about the children playing and comments on the monotony of life as the kids are the only one enjoying the afternoon while the adults are busy in maintaining their quotidian pattern which leads to the idea of life cycle. Foulcher demonstrates the damage school is inflicting on the children “Stay outside, bruised with dirt/ and school squeezing play” and that the school is bringing them to the same cycle of life.
He comments on the desperation of the children as they try to find a way to enjoy the afternoon. Moving on, he further comments on the innocence of children and the society’s effect on them as they would grow old and become one of them, violent and unhuman stuck in traffic. The poet ends the poem by personifying the rain “As the wreck is cleared, rain trembles/ across the road” and reveals the weakness of nature and he inverts the vivid image of rain as no cleansing occurs and no joy is felt. “And the charred, unbroken road” by the use of a strong adjective ‘unbroken’ he illustrates the never ending cycle of life and how the society is busy living in this monotonous life. The continuing disrupted connection of humans with the nature has had devastatingly destructive impacts on the relationship that humans form with others which has been implied through the poem “Summer Rain” where Foulcher visualise the hustle and bustle of human life through embedding effective poetic techniques.
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