top of page
  • Writer's pictureSnappy notes


Updated: Jul 13, 2020


Donald Paterson is a Scottish poet, writer and musician who was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1963. He left school at 16 to pursue a career in music, living in London and Brighton. He found success with the jazz-folk ensemble Lammas, but was captivate by poetry upon encountering the poet Tony Harrison. As a self-taught poet influenced by Coleridge, Paul Muldoon, Derek Mahon, and Michael Longley; Paterson devoted a year to read before he began to write and publish.

He won an Eric Gregory Award in 1990 and his poem A Private Bottling won the Arvon Foundation International Poetry Competition in 1993. His first book Nil Nil was published to acclaim in 1993 has won the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection. In the same year he returned to Scotland as writer in Residence at the University of Dundee. He was included on the list of 20 poets chosen for the Poetry Society’s ‘New Generation Poets’ promotion in 1994, and in 1997 he became a poetry editor at Picador Macmillan.God’s Gift to Women (1997) won the T.S.Eliot Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. He is an editor of 101 Sonnets: From Shakespeare to Heaney (1999). In 2002 he was awarded a Scottish Arts Council Creative Scotland Award. His collection of poems, Landing Light (2003), won both the 2003 T.S.Eliot Prize and the 2003 Whitbread Poetry Award. Paterson has also published several collections of aphorisms, The Book of Shadows (2004), The Blind Eye (2007), and Best thought, worst thought (2008). He was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in the 2010 New Year Honours. In 2015 Paterson was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


Rain was published as the final poem in Don Paterson’s 2009 best collection with the same name ‘Rain’. This intimate and manifest collection won the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2009. Rain is commonly used as a pathetic fallacy (A figure of speech which attributes human emotions or response to nature, inanimate objects, or animals) to dictate a mood in film or any other art forms. The countless droplets create mesmerizing pitter-patter sound cheer and wonder to the rain lovers. Poet as a pluviophile (Pluviophiles are people who love the rain) expresses his love for rain in this poem.


I love all films that start with rain: rain, braiding a windowpane or darkening a hung-out dress or streaming down her upturned face;

one big thundering downpour right through the empty script and score before the act, before the blame, before the lens pulls through the frame

to where the woman sits alone beside a silent telephone or the dress lies ruined on the grass or the girl walks off the overpass,

and all things flow out from that source along their fatal watercourse. However bad or overlong such a film can do no wrong,

so when his native twang shows through or when the boom dips into view or when her speech starts to betray its adaptation from a play,

I think to when we opened cold on a starlit gutter, running gold with the neon of a drugstore sign and I’d read into its blazing line:

forget the ink, the milk, the blood – all was washed clean with the flood we rose up from the falling waters the fallen rain’s own sons and daughters

and none of this, none of this matters.


This poem is written in the first person point of view in which the poet says that he loves all the films that started with rain; Starting scenes may be a windowpane (section of the window) decorated with rain droplets or hung out fabric that turns wet and darker with less reflecting light or rain drops dripping down from woman’s face pointed upward. In the world of cinema even if the scripts are empty, a scene with one heavy rain accompanied by lightning and thunder is enough for the whole achievement. These heavy rain scenes achieve the score result before the act, blame or even before the lens haul towards the frame (shooting) where the woman sits alone next to the silent telephone. Nothing matters if a film has a scene with rain in it, even when there are scenes like a girl walking on a bridge road or dresses lie on the grass all ruined etc…. Because all these things are declined by the scene of rain.

These kinds of film may be worst or long-drawn-out but if it has an opening with rain it will be perfect and do no wrong in the poet’s eyes. We cannot blame if the actor/actress get their native dialect while dialogue delivery that they have adopted for the films or deep view of poor editing or actress’s poor acting that doesn’t justify the original play which imperfectly adapted for the big screen, these mistakes do not define the film. The poet thinks that when a film starts with the uncountable rain drops, he tries to forget the other acts and his thought flows with the source (rain).

‘Forget the ink’ writings, ‘the milk’ content and ‘the blood’ the tragic war and blood. All these things were washed away by the outpouring rainy thoughts. Rain removes the impact of all these scenes which elevate our soul “and none of this matters, none of this matters



1,082 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page