Poem introduction

Justly famous is the poem 'Adlestrop', which reminds us that the old steam trains were very noisy in action – when they came to a halt at a country station, then you would hear for the first time the sounds of the countryside.

Adlestrop

 
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.
 
 

Recordings

Edward Thomas

Edward Thomas read by James Fenton

1As the team's Head Brass

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2Rain

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3In Memoriam (Easter 1915)

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4Adlestrop

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5Tall Nettles

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6The Wasp Trap

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