Some of my favourite nature poems are short. Being poetry they often carry a message, but the poets were real wordsmiths – with a few words they drew a picture, a mood, a point of view, a celebration. Of the railway poems, Edward Thomas‘ 16 line poem about Adlestrop railway station exudes a peaceful summer afternoon from every word.
Yes, I remember Adlestrop –
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop — only the name
And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.