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Train Songs

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  4 reviews
'This is the night mail crossing the border,

Bringing the cheque and the postal order...'

-- W.H. Auden

Wordsworth was the first laureate of locomotives: in fact he railed against them, and against the consequent opening up of the Lakes to holiday hordes ('On the Projected Kendal and Windermere Railway'). His dismay was echoed down the decades by disturbed ruralists, and yet
Hardcover, 172 pages
Published October 3rd 2013 by Faber Faber
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3.35  · 
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 ·  23 ratings  ·  4 reviews

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Sep 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
Contains, The marshalling yard by Helen Dunmore, a terrible poem which more or less sums up this terrible collection.

e.g (from The marshalling yard by Helen Dunmore) " steals through their hands like children
from whose touch they have already been parted.", is a confused simile. I'm not a fan of simile, but if a poet has elected to use it, the image should have some analogous relation to that which is imageless, i.e. it is a device to make concrete that which is abstract. However in this l
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I'm not usually a big reader of themed collections, but this book of poems of and about the railway is a well curated collection of stuff. It has all the ones you would expect, such as W.H. Auden's Night Mail, but also some more leftfield choices, such as Tom Waits's Train Song.

I started reading it on a train journey to Dundee, which made it more fun, although modern trains don't quite have the same romantic atmosphere of smokey platforms that the steam age evoked in some of the poems. Arriving
Bristol Bookworm
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: public-library
A mixed selection of poems with some real gems. Blog post here.
Hilary Stephens
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Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've not read much poetry, so I thought this little collection would be good for a novice. Surely a book of poems about something so solid and practical as a train can't be too metaphorical or figurative for me to understand! On the whole I was right, although as in any collection of writing, be it poetry or short stories, some of them I loved, some left me cold and most were OK.

For what it's worth, these are the ones I loved:

Robert Louis Stevenson - From a Railway Carriage - I love the rhythm o
Val Mcdermid
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