No One Got On, No One Got Off (Railway Poetry)

Adlestrop
Yes, I remember Adlestrop –
The name because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontendly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came (no one got on, no one got off)
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.
Edward Thomas 1917


Thomas is one of a group of poets associated with WW1. Perhaps less widely known than Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen and Seigfried Sassoon.
This poem was written in 1917 and recalled an unscheduled stop at a small country station… we’re all familiar with that, although most of the small country stations have gone.

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