Sean O'Brien and Don Paterson.
Train songs. London: Faber & Faber. 2013


There is a short, but bitter sweet introduction, but no biographical details of the poets, some of whom are not well known, although many are. As noted at the top of the page female poets are not forgotten and certainly female passengers and feamale observers are there in abundance, although they may be more cautious in future as they note the compilers' fixation with the erotic. Ezra Pound is represented by four enigmatic lines. The poems are beautifully presented and always start on a fresh page, although a few run to more than one page.

Prospects
Seamus Heaney. The Railway Children. 3
Emily Dickinson. 'I like to see it lap the Miles'. 4
Willlam Barnes. The Railroad. 5
Willlam Carlos Williams. Overture to a Dance of Locomotives. 6
Walt Whitman. To a Locomotive in Winter. 8
Robert Louis Stevenson. From a Railway Carriage. 10
Elizabeth Bishop. Chemin de Fer, 11
Kenneth Koch. One Train May Hide Another. 12
Les Murray. The Away-bound Train. 15
Ruth Stone. Train Ride/ 18
Frances Cornford. To a Fat Lady Seen from a Train. 19
Willlam Stafford. Vacation. 20
Randall Jarrell. The Orient Express. 21
Stephen Spender. The Express. 23
Peter Didsbury . The Guitar. 24
Anon. Working on the Railroad. 26
Charles Simic. Leaving an Unknown City. 28
Paul Farley. From a Weekend First. 29
James Wright. A Poem Written under an Archway in a Discontinued Railroad Station in Fargo, North Dakota. 31
Hugo Willlams. Now That I Hear Trains. 32
Norman Dubie. The Train. 33
Philip Larkin. The Whitsun Weddings. 35
Flanders and Swann. The Slow Train. 38
Mark Waldron. The Very Slow Train. 40
Alan Brownjohn. The Train. 41
Willlam Wordsworth. On the Projected Kendal and Windermere Railway. 42

Stations
Walter de la Mare
. The Railway Junction. 45
Simon Armitage. The Metaphor Now Standing at Platform 8. 47
W.H. Auden. Gare du Midi. 49
Edward Thomas. Adlestrop. 50
John Betjeman. Pershore Station, or A Liverish Journey First Class, 51
Wilfred Owen. The Send-Off. 52
Frances Cornford. Parting in Wartime. 53
Thom Gunn. Berlin in Ruins. 54
Patrick McGuinness. Correspondances. 56
Christopher Middleton .Pointed Boots. 57
John Montague .All Legendary Obstacles. 58
Dennis O'Driscoll. A Station. 59
Louis Simpson. The Unwritten Poem. 61
U.A. Fanthorpe. Father in the Railway Buffet. 62
Ian Hamilton. Pretending Not to Sleep. 63
Tony Harrison. Changing at York. 64
Michael Hofmann. Nighthawks. 65
Helen Dunmore. The marshalling yard. 67
Philip Larkin. Friday Night in the Royal Station Hotel. 69
Dannie Abse. Not Adlestrop. 70
Wislawa Szymborska. The Railroad Station. 71

Underground
Ezra Pound
. In a Station of the Metro. 75
Michael Donaghy. Poem On The Underground. 76
Seamus Heaney. District and Circle. 78
Seamus Heaney. The Underground. 81
W.N. Herbert. Comrade Bear. 82
Edwin Morgan. The Piranhas.  83
Matthew Sweeney.  Tube Ride to Martha's. 84
Charles Reznikoff. .from Jerusalem the Golden. 85

Travellers
Robert Johnson
. Love in Vain Blues, 91
Wendy Cope. 'Indeed, 'tis true'. 92
Hugo Williams .Day Return. 93
Sherman Alexie. On The Amtrak From Boston To New York City. 94
John Ashbery. Melodic Trains. 96
John Betjeman. Thoughts in a Train. 99
John Fuller. In a Railway Compartment. 100
Elma Mitchell. The Passenger Opposite. 101
Douglas Dunn. Renfrewshire Traveller. 103
Paul Durcan. Tullynoe: Tete-a-Tete in the Parish Priest's Parlour. 105
Louis MacNeice. Corner Seat. 107
Dan Pagis. Written in Pencil in the Sealed Freight Car. 108
Les Murray. Troop Train Returning. 109
Peter Porter. On the Train Between Wellington and Shrewsbury. 111
Jean Sprackland. The Stopped Train. 114
Hugo Williams. Toilet. 116
Ruth Stone. 'The widow likes to ride on trains'. 118
Robert Crawford  The Railway Library. 119
Ian Duhig. Jericho Shandy. 121
Thomas McCarthy. The Emigration Trains. 125
Michael Longley. Couchette . 127
Norman MacCaig. Sleeping Compartment. 128
Loulse Gluck. The Chicago Train. 129
Louis Macneice. Figure of Eight . 130
Ciaran Carson. Yes. 131
Grete Tartler. Orient Express. 132
Carol Ann Duffy. The Way My Mother Speaks, 133

Night
Anon. The Midnight Special. 137
T.S. Eliot. Skimbleshanks: the Railway Cat. 139
W.H. Auden. Night Mail. 142
Thomas Hardy. The Missed Train. 145
Willlam McGonagall. The Tay Bridge Disaster, 146
Edna St Vincent Millay. Travel. 149
Paul Muldoon The Train. 150
Sam Phillips and Junior Parker. Mystery Train. 151
Linda Pastan. At the Train Museum. 153
Carl Sandburg. Limited. 154
Dave Smith. Cumberland Station. 155
Ken Smith. Zoo Station midnight. 158
James Thomson. In the Train. 159
Katrina Porteous. If My Train Will Come. 160
George Szirtes. Ghost Train. 161
Tom Waits. Train Song. 163
Louis Macneice. Charon. 164
Norman Nicholson. Coastal Journey. 165

Acknowledgements. 167

Index of Poets. 171

2017-08-08