The rain in Portugal


Billy Collins, a former U.S. poet laureate, has a new book called The Rain in Portugal. He says that the title is an admission of his difficulties in constructing rhymes.

The rhyming possibilities of “Portugal” are much more limited than those of “Spain.” Yet, Collins finds a way capture the poetry of life in Portugal. Here’s an excerpt of the poem that contains the title of the book.

On Rhyme

“[…] instead of recalling today where it pours mostly in Spain I’m going to picture the rain in Portugal.

How it falls on the hillside vineyards, on the surface of the deep harbors where fishing boats are swaying.

And in the narrow alleys of the cities where three boys in t-shirts are kicking a soccer ball in the rain ignoring the window cries of their mothers.”



9 thoughts on “The rain in Portugal

  1. I rejoiced living in Portugal for almost ten years. My children were born there and we left our hearts in Portugal. We still long for Portugal.

  2. I’m virtually a newbie, just 14 months now. In case you haven’t read it, I’d like to recommend my favourite book in English, titled “The Last Old Place” by an American diplomat and fisherman, the late Datus Poper, who had been posted in Brazil, then Angola and then Portugal, spoke portuguese and returned after retirement to visit with a Portuguese friend who takes him on a tour from south to north to show him his favourite haunts: a gem of a book.

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