Adlestrop

Original Text: 
Edward Thomas, Collected Poems, with a Foreword by Walter de la Mare (London: Selwyn and Blount, 1920): 52. PR 6039 H55A17 1920 Robarts Library.
2The name, because one afternoon
3Of heat the express-train drew up there
4Unwontedly. It was late June.
5The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
6No one left and no one came
7On the bare platform. What I saw
8Was Adlestrop -- only the name
11No whit less still and lonely fair
12Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
13And for that minute a blackbird sang
14Close by, and round him, mistier,
15Farther and farther, all the birds
16Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Notes

1] Adlestrop: a village in Gloucestershire east of Stow-on-the-Wold, bordering on Oxfordshire, and on the A 486. The railway station is now closed.
Edward Thomas wrote on June 23, 1914, in one of his field notebooks:
Then we stopped at Adlestrop, throthe willows cd be heard a chain of blackbirds songs at 12.45 & one thrush & no man seen, only a hiss of engine letting off steam.

Stopping outside Campden by banks of long grass willow herb & meadowsweet, extraordinary silence between the two periods of travel --

(Adlestrop Revisited: An Anthology Inspired by Edward Thomas's Poem, ed. Anne Harvey [Trowbridge: Sutton, 1999]: 11; PR 6039 H55Z527 Robarts Library, as quoted from Berg Collection FNB 75, New York Public Library).
There is an account of the poem's composition, and a reproduction of Thomas's drafts 1 and 2, in William Cooke, Edward Thomas: A Critical Biography: 1898-1917 (London: Faber and Faber, 1970): 253-57 (PR 6039 H55Z65 Robarts Library), and in Adlestrop Revisited, pp. 18-20. Back to Line
9] willow-herb: rosebay willowherb (epilobium angustifolium; courtesy of Rebecca Montague). Back to Line
10] meadowsweet: queen of the meadows, ulmaria.
haycocks: conical hay-stacks. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1917
Publication Notes: 
"Edward Eastaway," Poems (London: Selwyn & Blount, 1917)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1999.
Rhyme: