Ten Poems about TrainsRETURN
Selected and Introduced by Jonathan Davidson
This mini-anthology finds us mostly in the UK after the more distant travels of our accompanying Outbound title.
The selection captures the timeless drama and romance of getting from A to B by train. RL Stevenson’s poem revels breathlessly in the thrill of moving at what was then thought to be high speed:
“Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle…”
from ‘From a Railway Carriage’ by Robert Louis Stevenson
But the abiding spirit of the poems is perhaps a sense of freedom – the fact of being neither here nor there – something that all too briefly allows us to imagine other possibilities and other lives.
Cover illustration by Gail Brodholt.