Edward Thomas: Adlestrop, first published in the New Statesman in 1917

The poet and essayist Edward Thomas's well-loved poem was first published in the New Statesman in June 1917, shortly after his death at the Battle of Arras.

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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.

First published in the New Statesman in April 1917

This article appears in the 12 April 2013 issue of the New Statesman, Centenary Special Issue