Adlestrop: tributes and memories


Adlestrop workshopped by Meg Cox

@MichaelRosenYes: Yes, I remember Adlestrop, for choral speaking, 1957, the name because one afternoon of heat, we had an inter school comp

Rachel Piercey Just got massive chills down my spine reading the poem again.

Julia Bird: Adlestrop ... 'it was late June'; Sign o the Times by Prince: "In September, my cousin tried reefer for the very first time / Now he's doing horse - it's June" - one always reminds me of the other.

Stella Thompson: reminds me of College in the 198Os when I selected poetry including Edward Thomas - happy memories - 4 years later I emerged to deal with "ironic" literature and my Professor complimented me on choices!

Alan Durant: Edward Thomas is my favourite poet and Adlestrop one of my favourite poems. I first came across it in an anthology, A Pattern of Poetry, that I bought with a book token I won as a prize for being the boy with the most stars when I left primary school in 1970. I still have that collection and I continue to read and be inspired by it. I'm now an author of over ninety books for children and young adults (including a book of poetry), one of the most recent of which, The Red Light, was inspired obliquely by Adlestrop. I've always loved that moment of suspension encapsulated by the poem when everything stops briefly and time, like the train, stands still. There was an element of mystery that I loved too: Why did the train halt and linger at a station when no one got on or off? The Red Light is my exploration of this. The setting is the same - a steam train pulling into an empty station, only in my story this takes place not on a beautifully sunny June day but a dark, stormy midnight. A classic pastoral poem becomes an atmospheric ghost story. I feel like I've exorcised something and can return to the poem refreshed.

@florencegirl wonderful poem by a wonderful poet - another casualty of #WW1 

@LizzieAlvey Yes I remember Adlestrop, the poem, for having to learn at primary school!

Calida Ally I'd never read Edward Thomas's Adlestrop and after reading it I felt so inspired by the beauty of poem, I immediately I took pen to paper and came up with a poem of my own about a place I absolutely love, Haworth (click on the link at the top of the page to see the poem). It is an incredible place. Being from Yorkshire myself and loving Yorkshire the way I do, I initially wrote, Haworth using Yorkshire dialect but then changed it to the one which I have submitted.

Rene Thomas Adlestrop reminds me of a time I missed "my" station, because "my" train was too long for the platform, so I was unable to run down the aisle fast enough to find a useful exit in time.

Helen Wilson I thought I understood what it said to me then about promise and loss, the loveliness of summer and the horror of war: my grandfather was shot and captured on the Somme and subsequently became a POW for 2 years. It took on new meaning for me, however, when my son Sam, born on June 23rd 1986, died six months later.

Julie Barker I have always loved this poem and now, thanks to your e-mail, have found out that it started life on the date that would become my birthday (some years later, of course). At 12.45 on 23rd June this year I will be driving through the Weald of Kent to a meeting. I shall stop the car in a leafy lane and listen to the birdsong, perhaps there may even be a blackbird in the "happy birthday" chorus. I might even recite the poem to the trees! And the best birthday present? We have a blackbird nesting in the raspberries at the bottom of our garden at the moment. There are four beautiful blue eggs in there. What more could anyone wish for?

Danuta Dagair For me 23 June has very pleasant connotations because it used to be the last but one, or the very last day of school in the days of my education in Poland. Therefore this date makes me think of the feeling of total freedom and in my recollections I see my colleagues and me coming out from school in groups, laughing and rejoicing at the prospect of the two months of vacation. Scenes, like these from the poem “Adlestrop” during the holidays, were frequent. In those days I always watched through the window of a train – at that time a steam train – small stations with their unknown to me names of the passing villages and the surrounding landscapes. Description of the scenery in this poem is very close to me, as in a simple, but very suggestive way, brings us into atmosphere and a harmonious beauty of this place. Mentioned herein willows, wild flowers, herbs and birds – all of these stood before my eyes after reading this charming poem.

Anthony Dunston Gardiner ...remembering childhood days at Maldon in Essex crossing fields with skylarks overhead to see the steam train passing by, my twin brother and I escorted by our mother. Happy days.

Stanley Goodall
Great poem , great idea

Stephen Keeler This is such a brilliant idea I can't believe I didn't think of it myself! cf The Whitsun Weddings train journey! Inspired!

Doreen Hinchliffe
The poem has always haunted me. Seems to conjure up a time before the world was ravaged by the Great War.

Rachel Stott I remember 'Adlestrop' from an English lesson when I was fifteen and often think of it when a train unexpectedly pulls up somewhere in the early afternoon...

Todd Swift My favourite poem