Train Songs

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ISBN 9780571315789 Format N/A
9780571315789
Paperback
Published N/A Length N/A

About Book

'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 the train has become part of our psychic landscape: some of the best-loved English poems - Edward Thomas's 'Adlestrop', or Philip Larkin's 'Whitsun Weddings' - have celebrated carriages, platforms and waiting rooms, while locomotion has inspired some of the most characteristic poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Stevenson, Hardy and MacNeice, Betjeman and Auden (whose 'Night Mail' was written to accompany a 1930s GPO documentary about the postal express from Euston to Glasgow).

Co-edited by two of our most distinguished poets, Train Songs offers a round tour - from Wordsworth to Hugo Williams and beyond - starting from the poetry of departures and brief encounters, but taking in the American Blues, the troop trains of two world wars, and the addiction to speed which characterised the European revolutions. Trains have carried the freight of history from the Industrial Revolution onwards - the Armstice in 1918 was signed in a railway carriage, the death camps were organised around train timetables - and this new anthology shows how the train in all its forms has exercised a unique hold upon our collective unconscious.

'This is the night mail crossing the border,Bringing the cheque and the postal order...' -- W.H. AudenWordsworth 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 the train has become part of our psychic landscape: some of the best-loved English poems - Edward Thomas's 'Adlestrop', or Philip Larkin's 'Whitsun Weddings' - have celebrated carriages, platforms and waiting rooms, while locomotion has inspired some of the most characteristic poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Stevenson, Hardy and MacNeice, Betjeman and Auden (whose 'Night Mail' was written to accompany a 1930s GPO documentary about the postal express from Euston to Glasgow).Co-edited by two of our most distinguished poets, Train Songs offers a round tour - from Wordsworth to Hugo Williams and beyond - starting from the poetry of departures and brief encounters, but taking in the American Blues, the troop trains of two world wars, and the addiction to speed which characterised the European revolutions. Trains have carried the freight of history from the Industrial Revolution onwards - the Armstice in 1918 was signed in a railway carriage, the death camps were organised around train timetables - and this new anthology shows how the train in all its forms has exercised a unique hold upon our collective unconscious.
  • About Don Paterson

    Don Paterson was born in Dundee in 1963. He is the author of Nil Nil (1993), winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection; God's Gift to Women (1997) - winner of both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; and Landing Light (2003), which won both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. Rain, his most recent collection, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2009, the same year that he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. He has also published versions of Antonio Machado (The Eyes, 1999) and Rainer Maria Rilke (Orpheus, 2006), as well as two collections of aphorisms. His Selected Poems appeared in 2012.

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  • About Sean O'Brien

    Sean O'Brien is a poet, critic, broadcaster, editor and professor of creative writing at Newcastle University. His many books include a verse version of Dante's Inferno, a novel, Afterlife, and seven poetry collections, among them The Drowned Book, which won both the 2007 Forward and T. S. Eliot Prizes, and November, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Foward, T. S. Eliot and Costa Awards, and the 2012 Griffin Prize. His Collected Poems was published in 2012.

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  • Edited By: Don Paterson

    Don Paterson was born in Dundee in 1963. He is the author of Nil Nil (1993), winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection; God's Gift to Women (1997) - winner of both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; and Landing Light (2003), which won both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. Rain, his most recent collection, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2009, the same year that he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. He has also published versions of Antonio Machado (The Eyes, 1999) and Rainer Maria Rilke (Orpheus, 2006), as well as two collections of aphorisms. His Selected Poems appeared in 2012.

    More Info