Friday, July 11, 2008

Poetry Friday - Adelstrop

I heard this poem for the first time this week; it was read on the Classic Poetry Aloud podcast. I love the description of a place seen from a train, the stillness of a railway platform and the sounds of the countryside around. It's a beautiful snapshot of a moment that happened over 90 years ago - the poem was written in 1915 - and because Edward Thomas wrote it down, I can re-experience that moment today.

Yes. I remember Adelstrop —
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adelstrop — only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and around him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Edward Thomas

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. The "someone who cleared his throat" is preserved forever here. I agree... A really beautiful preservation of an "eternal moment."