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"The Fury of Rain Storms," by Anne Sexton

Author: Anne Sexton

“The Fury of Rain Storms.” The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton, by Anne Sexton, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999.

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The rain drums down like red ants,
each bouncing off my window.
The ants are in great pain
and they cry out as they hit
as if their little legs were only (5)
stitche don and their heads pasted.
And oh they bring to mind the grave,
so humble, so willing to be beat upon
with its awful lettering and
the body lying underneath (10)
without an umbrella.
Depression is boring, I think
and I would do better to make
some soup and light up the cave.

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Oct 26
Paul H (Oct 26 2020 8:13AM) : Imagery more

The poet presents an image that reminds the reader of a “grave” or death.

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Oct 26
Paul H (Oct 26 2020 8:56AM) : Imagery/Simple more

The suggestion of something simple as making soup as a remedy calls to the reader’s mind that soup is often cited as a remedy for illness.

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Oct 26
Sarah T (Oct 26 2020 9:12AM) : Personification more

I see this as personification because she is comparing rain that is drumming to an ant, but ants do not drum and neither can the rain.

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Oct 26
Paul H (Oct 26 2020 10:27AM) : Interesting Point with a Push more

This personification of two elements of nature. One elemental and one biological. How might this fit the overall theme or message of the poem? What might it say about the subject of depression?

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Oct 28
Sarah T (Oct 28 2020 8:35AM) : Depression feels inescapable to her more

I think she’s seeing her depression as inescapable because both rain and ants can’t just disappear. Rain can come unexpected, and I believe she’s relating that to how random her depression can be. As to the biological standpoint of ants, they can’t just disappear. An ant is always being born somewhere and they won’t go extinct that easily. I can see Sexton relation her depression to ants because of how difficult it is to get rid of them.

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Oct 26
Ciara K (Oct 26 2020 11:10AM) : Recipient/Audience more

The audience of this poem could be people dealing with depression or someone who knows someone with depression.

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Oct 30
Megan E (Oct 30 2020 8:33AM) : Audience more

I think the audience is meant to be people dealing with their own depression or dealing with somebody else’s depression as well. I think it is sometimes hard to visualize what you are feeling when you feel so lost and alone. I think it is important that the author is helping those dealing with depression in some way visualize a example of what it feels like to be depressed. I believe that people who have depression feel like they are alone in this world, but this poem is showing them they are not alone.

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Oct 26
Makenzie H (Oct 26 2020 11:59AM) : Rhyme Scheme more

It seems that this poem has no clear rhyme scheme. Why do you think the author used free-verse for a poem about depression?

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Oct 28
Sarah T (Oct 28 2020 8:39AM) : Depression does not follow any guidelines more

I think she does this because her depression does not have set guidelines. The free-verse goes to show how her depression is free flowing, some days are better than others and some days are worse.

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Oct 26
Maddy C (Oct 26 2020 12:06PM) : Entry Point #1: Title and Poem Synthesis [Edited] more

The title of this poem, “The Fury of Rainstorms,” accounts for the majority of the poem. While the poem is focused on the description of rain, at the end, it is focused on depression. This leads me to believe that the “fury of rainstorms” is a metaphor for the harsh reality of Depression.

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Oct 30
Megan E (Oct 30 2020 8:38AM) : Title more

I would have to agree that “The Fury of Rain Storms” is referring to depression. Depression in my opinion feels like a cloud just following you around. Depression is just a rain storm over your head all the time. I think the people who struggle or have struggled with depression can clearly make that connection because it is something they have lived with.

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Oct 30
Ciara K (Oct 30 2020 8:46AM) : Maddy, more

I would agree with you completely.The title is a metaphor for what depression really feels like for some people. People have a “rainstorm” going on in their head that can be hard to get through and overcome.

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Oct 28
Natalie D (Oct 28 2020 11:36AM) : Imagery and Symbolism more

Sexton uses a large amount of symbolism in this poem. She starts off with saying the ants are bouncing off her window and then that they are in great pain. While on the topic of depression and mental illness we have been focusing on it leads me to assume the window is posing as an obstacle for the ants in their battle against their mental illness and the pain they are feeling is the pain of trying to keep fighting against their illness.

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Oct 28
Paul H (Oct 28 2020 12:01PM) : Particularly Insightful more

The idea of the window being clear but still a barrier is really interesting to me. There is no permeable way for them to come inside or for the narrator to offer relief from the inside. Again, this tension between the inner and outer parts of the poem are brought to light again.

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Oct 29
Jackson N (Oct 29 2020 12:56AM) : Entry Point: Imagery and Symbolism within the Poem more

The Poem seems to give off somewhat of a dark and gloomy vibe to it, immediately starting with images of rain pouring down and pain within the minds of the poems recipients. Looking deeper into this however, we find that there is much more meaning to be discovered in the poem than just that.

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Oct 30
Adren C (Oct 30 2020 9:44AM) : Audience/Recipient more

The audience can be seen as people dealing with depression, but it can also be for those who do not know that they are depressed. Sexton is vulnerable o her audience, hopefully persuading them to do the same.

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Oct 31
Trey K (Oct 31 2020 8:51PM) : Agreed more

I know “being depressed” ad depression are not the same thing, but I feel like staying active and stopping the mind from running would help.

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Oct 25
Paul H (Oct 25 2020 9:50PM) : Line One Alliteration more

The phrase “drums down” is alliteration that actually suggests the “d” of hard drumming.

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Oct 26
Fiorella P (Oct 26 2020 5:52PM) : Stanza 1&2 more

I picture the speaker on a couch while the rain “drums” on their window. You usually don’t feel energetic when you’re trapped inside and it’s pouring outside; it’s more a feeling of sleepiness. Interestingly, Sexton describes the rain as red ants “bouncing off her window.” I don’t think the context is meant to be literal, but rather more based on the effect of something so tiny hitting something so hard on the glass.I feel like the red ant symbolizes the speaker in a way, and in the life of the speaker, the window is an obstacle or challenge of some kind.

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Oct 28
Nicholas L (Oct 28 2020 8:20AM) : Feeling more

I can relate to the unenthusiastic feel that the poet seems to feel when it is raining. The whole poem to me seems to feel the same as I feel when it is raining, bored, alone, and sad.

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Oct 28
Paul H (Oct 28 2020 12:02PM) : Current Weather: October 2020: Southern Indiana more

Does our outside weather affect the way we read/hear this poem? Is this a little opportunity for some meta?

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Oct 28
Paul H (Oct 28 2020 7:18AM) : Imagery more

The idea of these “ants” feeling this level of pain might be a way of communicating this depression is felt down into the smaller spaces of outer nature (other creatures). Why would it not be mirrored in our own?

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Oct 28
Christopher C (Oct 28 2020 8:35AM) : Hidden Feelings more

When I read that the ants were “in great pain” I thought to myself I don’t even know if ants can feel pain. I then thought about other people who seem so bright and happy and how I’ve thought before that “they’re so happy they could never be sad or depressed” which is completely untrue. Sometimes the people I look at as incapable of being sad are the saddest ones in reality

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Oct 26
Paul H (Oct 26 2020 5:30PM) : Background Research/Suggestion more

Critics point to the idea of “disembodiment” the poet must have felt as a result of her depression.The ants here are literally presented as disembodied.

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Oct 28
maleya s (Oct 28 2020 8:33AM) : Response more

I believe this is to show the disconnect depression can cause. In such a state it truly can make you feel jumbled, almost as if there is something fundamentally wrong with the body.

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Oct 26
Paul H (Oct 26 2020 5:28PM) : Pronoun/Reference more

“They in line 7 refers to the ants that were the focus of the simile from line one. Now they are bringing to mind the idea of a grave and what it would look like. Anyone thinking “mounds?”

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Oct 26
Paul H (Oct 26 2020 5:42PM) : A Poetic Turn (Setting) more

Does anyone else see that this poem has “turned” from the inside of lines 1-6 to the outside of a grave?

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Oct 29
Savannah K (Oct 29 2020 6:50PM) : Response more

The transition is at first talking about the pain and suffering the ants are going through, which then brought a description of a grave into a picture. It is like these ants had died which then brought about the description of a grave because they had lived their life then resulting in afterlife.

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Oct 28
Paul H (Oct 28 2020 8:13AM) : Word Choice/Interrupter more

That little “oh” in line 7 is more than poetic. It seems to be a second thought or a verbal sort of epiphany. That the ants the poet is seeing DOES remind them of something. It’s a small word that is carrying a lot of weight here. Think about “Oh.” You have to exhale to create this sound. The O comes of rounding the mouth and blowing out through the H.

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Oct 29
Savannah K (Oct 29 2020 6:46PM) : Response more

I was analyzing the same thing. It is sort of like something came up and something triggered them to remember something. When I was reading through this poem it was like the ants are the thing that brought to mind a grave, which then transitioned to the rest of the poem.

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Oct 28
maleya s (Oct 28 2020 8:26AM) : Word choice more

The words ‘humble’ and the phrase “so willing” makes me think that there is an acceptance of these feelings. I think this shows the length of the battle with depression for the author.

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Oct 28
Paul H (Oct 28 2020 12:03PM) : Push on a Really Good Idea more

Is death our ultimate nod to nature and that we are a part and parcel of it as humans?

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Oct 30
Kassidy R (Oct 30 2020 2:22PM) : This line shows that even in death there is still suffering. Even the dead people still must face the rain just the same as being alive.
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Nov 1
Hana P (Nov 01 2020 11:23PM) : Imagery more

These few lines here about the grave (death) are interesting, as she calls the writing on the grave “awful”. Could she mean this specifically, since the writing is usually just a name and dates, or is there a deeper meaning?

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Oct 28
Paul H (Oct 28 2020 7:19AM) : Imagery: Setting more

The idea of the inside and outside is also found in this line wherein the body in the grave is laid bare to the elements (the rain). The stone rising above the grass becomes a sort of “window” to the live that had been lived.

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Oct 25
Paul H (Oct 25 2020 9:57PM) : Summary Comment. more

Sexton’s assessment of depression as “boring” is interesting. How does she come to this summative assessment of the condition?

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Oct 26
Makenzie H (Oct 26 2020 11:33AM) : Assessment of Depression more

Maybe Sexton came to this from observation. Many people who suffer from depression tend to stay at home and not do much. Maybe she drew this conclusion from personal experience. A person that wants to do something, but can find no motivation to do it is bound to be upset with themselves and quite possibly bored with the things they are doing to fill their time.

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Oct 26
Paul H (Oct 26 2020 5:48PM) : Revisiting This Line more

Every time I come back to this line, I keep thinking about how it comes after all of this introspective thinking about rain and ants and graves. And now this summary comment on depression.

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Oct 29
Savannah K (Oct 29 2020 6:55PM) : Response more

When reading through this poem and when I got down to this like I felt like it got really deep in a way. I went from rain to ants dying and then got a little deeper talking about graves and then lastly the author just brought depression into the picture. Which depression is a mental disability causing me to react and understand the poem switched directions and topics. Depression is an awful thing leading people to need medical help that is why I sought the poem to sort of change one’s mentality.

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Oct 29
Elizabeth B (Oct 29 2020 1:58PM) : Turning Point of the Poem more

Line 12 would be the turning point in the poem because it is when Sexton comes to a conclusion about depression. Throughout the poem the author compared ants to the depressive state by demonstrating how they are in pain. The author also explained how graves are able to be beat upon because they are laying there, rotting such as an individual with depression might do. After describing how one might feel with depression, Sexton comes to the conclusion that it is boring. People with depression tend to not do anything. They rot inside as the day passes and most likely let people walk all over them, such as ants do.

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Oct 28
Paul H (Oct 28 2020 7:25AM) : Push on the Line a Bit more

The poet writes, “I would DO better.” Is this different from “I might BE better?”

Do better than what?

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DMU Timestamp: October 19, 2020 19:17

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Oct 25
Paul H (Oct 25 2020 9:55PM) : Interesting understatement here. more

Depression is boring, I think. To what might Sexton be comparing this condition in order to come to this assessment.

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Oct 25
Karisten B (Oct 25 2020 10:15PM) : Response: more

Doing some light research on our author here, I found that Sexton suffered with postpartum depression. At the final lines of the poem, she says, “I think I would do better to make some soup and light up the cave.” Being aware of her mental health history, I believe we can assume that writing, poetry specifically, provides an escape for Sexton, allowing her to escape her personal “cave” for some time to ignore the realities of life. When saying “Depression is boring,” she references/compares her own traumas she learned to live through.

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Oct 25
Paul H (Oct 25 2020 9:58PM) : Stats: Stanza/Sentence/Line Count more

1 Stanza.
4 Sentences.
14 Lines

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Oct 28
Paul H (Oct 28 2020 7:21AM) : Question: Description more

What might the question have been that led Anne Sexton to write this piece?

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Oct 30
Keandra S (Oct 30 2020 10:37AM) : "How do I release my emotions in a safe way?" or "How do I describe my depression?" more

After reading very little about Anne Sexton, I found that she used her poetry to help battle her depression. She did, sadly, lose her battle with depression. Her poetry is a reflection of this battle and tells her story. So I think some questions she may have been asking herself while writing this were, “How do I release my emotions in a safe way” or “How do I describe my depression?” I am not even sure if she really would have asked herself a question, but if she did it may have been like those.

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Oct 28
Paul H (Oct 28 2020 7:23AM) : 20 Entry Points and 3 Questions more

You have the Entry Points. Here are three questions:

1. What do you see? (Isolate and Identify)

2. What does it mean? (Analyze)

3. How does what we see and what we assess lend to the overall meaning of a poem (theme)?

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Oct 28
Allen V (Oct 28 2020 8:08AM) : Entry Point Rhyme Scheme more

Throughout this poem, there is no rhyming happening between any words either within or at the line level.

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Oct 29
Jackson N (Oct 29 2020 12:58AM) : I can definitely see where you are coming from, I do not see an immediate rhyme scheme in the poem.
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Oct 30
Kylie R (Oct 30 2020 9:45PM) : I think this poem does not have a rhyming scene because it can show the "unpredictable" which when someone is struggling with this mental illness, it might be unpredictable.
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Oct 28
Sarah T (Oct 28 2020 8:30AM) : #17: Poem to heart more

This poem brings sad emotions to me. The first 5 stanzas are really descriptive and honestly make me a bit uncomfortable. I understand that Sexton feels this way all the time though due to her depression, which is why I think those first 5 stanzas are so deep and emotional.

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Oct 28
Natalie D (Oct 28 2020 11:40AM) : Sarah, I agree that the poem brings about sad emotion with all that Sexton dealt with it makes sense. more
I also noticed the first line gave the image of rain. Rain creates a somber feeling in itself. We normally curl up inside when it rains. For me rainy days make me feel down and cause me to be lazy because of the dark skies and chilled winds. The picture of rain set the tone for the beginning.
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