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Project 52 ’11 6: Train Ride Home 2008

February 6, 2011

More from the archives this week, I’m afraid. I am endeavouring to write something new and hopefully, that will be putting an appearance in next week but it just could not be made ready in time for today. It’s a sonnet (or at least I hope it will be) and these things are rather hard to write so have patience.

This week’s offering is therefore from my university work completed in 2008 for the Creative Writing module. It is very heavily reliant on metre and hopefully conveys a sense of movement, of speeding up and slowing down. Back in 2008 I wrote:

“With the use of both trochaic and anapaestic metres and varying the numbers of feet in the lines I have striven to not only recreate the sounds of trains, but also to give a sense of travel and speed. The poem deliberately changes from anapaestic hexameter in the first stanza, to a largely trochaic metre in the second to give the illusion of acceleration and of speed. The third verse comprises one line of anapaestic metre followed by 7 lines of trochaic metre of decreasing length, ending in two lines, each of a single syllable. This is done to slow the poem to a stop as the destination is reached. The metre of this poem does not work perfectly, but it is close to working fully.”

Well, quite. I hope all that still manages to come across. For once the work isn’t nameless.

Train ride home

Tittering, tattering, chittering, chattering –

Sounds of commuters on laptop computers and

Crowds on the platform, the scramble for seating its

Busy and dirty and smelly and noisy we’re

Ceaselessly, endlessly trundling onwardly.

Crammed into the vestibule

Smells of tea and bleach and fuel

Riding on the Midland Mainline

Down the country’s hilly spine.

Tearing up the tracks and signals

Coasting on returns and singles.

Sheffield and Derby, then Birmingham Newstreet and

Onto Wolverhampton – destination!

I alight upon the station

And hear the sounds behind

There to remind.

Tittering

Tatter

Chitter

Chat

Home.

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