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Ten Poems about Trains: Return

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This mini-anthology finds us mostly in the UK after the more distant travels of Candlestick Press's accompanying Outbound title.

The selection captures the timeless drama and romance of getting from A to B by train. RL Stevenson’s poem revels breathlessly in the thrill of moving at what was then thought to be high speed:

“Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle…”

from ‘From a Railway Carriage’ by Robert Louis Stevenson

But the abiding spirit of the poems is perhaps a sense of freedom – the fact of being neither here nor there – something that all too briefly allows us to imagine other possibilities and other lives.

Poems by Jonathan Davidson, Khiwani Deepankar, Emily Dickinson, Maura Dooley, Helen Dunmore, David Hart, Cynthia Kitchen, Ian McMillan, Graham Mort and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Cover illustration by Gail Brodholt.



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