Adlestrop Sequence

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Hello, just an posting with some of my poetry (and Edward Thomas’) from Hanger Farm Poets this morning. A written copy for those of you there who heard and those who couldn’t make the meeting and so didn’t.

Hope these find you well

Graeme:)

A Sequence in homage to Edward Thomas’ Adlestrop

1.

Like a Bullet Train
Through the heart of my country:
Your words travelled at speeds
Beyond my belief.

On the surface, overland
They said one thing;
But, they were saying something
Deeper, darker, underneath.

I felt their bite
As they hurtled through my station;
And, although they failed to stop,
Their passing left me changed,
Like Adlestrop.

—-

2.

You are not really a poet
Unless you’ve been to Adlestrop;
It’s an old, abandoned station,
Where the trains don’t stop;
So, don’t think you’re smart
With your beat-box rhymes
And your new hip-hop;
Because, you are really ‘not’ a poet
Until you’ve been to Adlestrop.

—-

3.

Adlestrop 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.

4.
Return to Adlestrop – Graeme Sandford

“Adlestrop!

I can’t sell you a ticket to Adlestrop!
There’s no station there, and the train won’t stop
It’s been a long time since Adlestrop
was there at all, There’s no way you’ll be reaching
that destination, since Beeching removed the station.
He took out the heart of the railway nation – seemingly with elation.

Adlestrop!

I can do you a return to Kingham
or Moreton in Marsh, sir.
But there’s nothing closer
I know it’s harsh
to lose such a place,
it’s a proper disgrace,
almost an ‘improper’ disgrace,
and you can tell I’m upset
by the look on my face.

Adlestrop!”

—-

Please check out my words at http://www.graemesandford.wordpress.com

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