Night Mail

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The mail train service is being withdrawn but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)


JUNK MAIL TRAIN

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!'
 

Banana

Member
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!)
 

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.
 
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The mail train service is being withdrawn but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 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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