Night Mail

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by BigHorn, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Just came across this on the web.

    The mail train service is being withdrawn but
    WH Auden's classic poem Night Mail lives on: (you 40 somethings will remember it on the telly adversts)


    This is the Junk Mail crossing the border
    Delivered by truck now, that's the order
    None of it wanted, all of it waste
    All of it tinged with commercial distaste
    Delivering catalogues all unsolicited
    Names on the mailing list slyly elicited
    'Yearly subscription' that's the refrain
    'Take out a loan or a time-share in Spain'
    Unwanted brochures shrouded in plastic
    Thousands of leaflets bound by elastic
    All come unbidden, a waste of a trip
    Bound for the landfill, bound for the tip
    All come by lorries pounding the highways
    Blocking the ring road and clogging the by-ways
    No more will the Night Mail arrive at the station
    De-railed by the forces of privatisation
    'Victorian problem - Victorian answer'
    That is an insult to the service they ran, sir
    Imagine old Isambard taking this tack
    'Sorry we're late sir, leaves on the track'!
    Now, gone is the romance
    Gone is the snobbery
    The twenty-first century's Greatest Train Robbery
    So while we're asleep the postman is driving
    And the profits of shareholders quietly thriving
    To bring us material for which none of us asked
    To redress the balance is how we are tasked
    Here comes the postman rounding the block
    Here comes the postman, here comes his knock
    With quickening heart I leap from my bunk
    'Anything interesting, dear?'
    'Nothing, just junk!'
  2. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Wem, Shropshire UK
    I remember it well!

  3. Banana

    Banana Member

    Wellesbourne, Warwickshire
    Nice one BigHorn. How come I know it - I'm not 40!! (I can't say that for much longer so I'll take every opportunity that offers itself!)
  4. albur27

    albur27 New Member

    Does anybody know the author of Junk Mail Train? I first saw the poem years ago, but never seen the author mentioned.
  5. thepirate

    thepirate New Member

    "The Night Mail" Wonderfull poem, and a great film.

    Steve. WSB Toronto.
  6. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    This 50 something remembers studying it for O-Level Eng.Lit. :-?

    (Along with History, the only Grade 8s I have ever got!)
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