Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Adlestrop by Edward Thomas


by Edward Thomas

Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
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 Adlestrop—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 round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.


A poem is an event object with loosely constrained borders. The express train, our mind, stops there unwontedly. A blackbird gives us the nod and we slip the rails to the unbounded. That bird both familiar and a benign familiar for poets found in 98% of Irish gardens. Are there that many poets? But it is a nice day.

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