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[Manuscript Poem] “Green Rain”

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Mary Webb. “Green Rain.” Manuscript poem, one leaf, 10″ x 8″, off-white ruled laid paper. Fourteen lines, black ink. This relatively short poem was written in joyous response to Spring Coppice, Webb’s “little wood” on the southern end of Lyth Hill, where she lived in Spring Cottage from 1917–27. Characteristically lucid and exact in its imagery, this poem was included by Walter de la Mare in his influential anthology, Come Hither (1923). “Green Rain” begins with rhymed descriptions of nature, but concludes (using dramatic imagery) with some of Webb’s best lines, “Thick-set with buds, as clear and pale / As golden water or green hail— / As if a storm of rain had stood / Enchanted in the thorny wood, / And, hearing fairy voices call, / Hung poised, forgetting how to fall.”