Sunday, 8 November 2009

Edward Thomas - Adlestrop

The photo was taken along our valley this morning. Wish I had a non-copyright picture of Edward Thomas, but sadly, no . . .

This is one of my favourite poems by Edward Thomas. I turned Radio 4 on today as I was preparing the vegetables for tea and was delighted to catch "Adventures in Poetry" . I fear we had some rather shabbily-peeled potatoes as my full attention was on the programme! HERE
is a link to listen to it in the next seven days.

Here, out of pure self-indulgence for me, is this beautiful poem again:


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 hay-cocks 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.

And HERE is a link to poets of the Great War, which seems very appropriate on today, Remembrance Sunday.


  1. I love that poem BB. One of my favourites for years and years.

    Today I have been thinking of the war poets, especially Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas who did not come home.

  2. One of my favourite poems, too - and we live so near to Adlestrop, and truly that railway line is as beautiful as I am sure it was then; and still operational.

  3. "And willows, willow-herb and grass,
    And meadowsweet, and hay-cocks dry,"---such a lovely quiet scene that creates for me.
    Your trees are still wearing gold! I will say, for want of a better word, that I am envious.

  4. Yes, a profoundly beautiful poem; but also profoundly sad - the station deserted and the haycocks dry because the farm-workers have been conscripted and sent to war. Wonderful stuff.