Poetry Sunday: June Thunder by Louis MacNeice

How I long to hear June thunder and see the catharsis of a cleansing downpour. But it is dry, dry, dry here. We haven't had rain in weeks and there is none in the offing that I can see. Nevertheless, a person can dream...

June Thunder

by Louis MacNeice

The Junes were free and full, driving through tiny
Roads, the mudguards brushing the cowparsley,
Through fields of mustard and under boldly embattled
Mays and chestnuts

Or between beeches verdurous and voluptuous
Or where broom and gorse beflagged the chalkland--
All the flare and gusto of the unenduring
Joys of a season

Now returned but I note as more appropriate
To the maturer mood impending thunder
With an indigo sky and the garden hushed except for
The treetops moving.

Then the curtains in my room blow suddenly inward,
The shrubbery rustles, birds fly heavily homeward,
The white flowers fade to nothing on the trees and rain comes
Down like a dropscene.

Now there comes catharsis, the cleansing downpour
Breaking the blossoms of our overdated fancies
Our old sentimentality and whimsicality
Loves of the morning.

Blackness at half-past eight, the night's precursor,
Clouds like falling masonry and lightning's lavish
Annunciation, the sword of the mad archangel
Flashed from the scabbard.

If only you would come and dare the crystal
Rampart of the rain and the bottomless moat of thunder,
If only now you would come I should be happy
Now if now only.


  1. "Catharsis of a cleansing downpour is a wonderful expression." Wish i had come up with it. Maybe I will plagiarize it shamelessly!

    1. "Catharsis of a cleansing downpour" is actually the phrase that first caught my eye in the poem and made me decide to feature it here.

  2. This poem really fit where I live the past week. We had such terrible downpours we got trapped in town because the main road flooded so badly. But now it's just hot and sunny for the next 20 days I think they said.

    1. No downpours here and none expected for at least the next ten days, unfortunately.

  3. If we get thunderstorms, it's usually in July. We've been super dry this year, too, though there's hope of some rain here tomorrow. Lovely poem.

    1. A thunderstorm would be most welcome here but none are expected.

  4. Sadly it has (so far at least) been a thunder-less June.


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