What this blog is and how to use it

This blog contains poems that have caught my attention over the years. Many of the poems I've discussed and explored with 16 -19 year old students in my capacity as lecturer in English.

Browse the list of poems by scrolling down the page or read the titles of poems or names of poets in the sidebar 'Poem Titles and Poets'. Then click on the title or poet.

Friday 14 July 2023

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.

Click here for a link to Richard Burton reading the poem. I love his reading. It's brilliance is all held in that first word, 'Yes.'
It's all there in the casual and off hand way he says 'yes'. He says 'yes' as if it's unimportant, almost as if he's half paying attention to the unknown speaker of his unknown question. And of course that completely goes to the very core of this poem.  

Edward Thomas

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