dinsdag 13 augustus 2013

Adlestrop - Part 1

This is Adlestrop, a charming little village in Gloucestershire. Its main claim to fame is a poem which was written about it in 1914 by Edward Thomas, a poet who was killed in the First World War. I drove through the village in the early 1990s and took this photo.

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.

The station where Edward Thomas's train stopped has gone, but the village name which he saw on the platform from the train has been put up in the bus shelter instead. A bench in the shelter has a plaque with the poem engraved on it.

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