The Railway Children

This touching poem portrays a world reduced to the dimensions of a child’s imagination. The speaker is one of a group of youngsters, brothers and sisters perhaps, exploring their neighbourhood. Their play brings them to the railway line. Mounting the slopes of the cutting brings them to the same height as the overhead cables (eye-level with the white cups/ Of the telegraph poles)and within hearing-range of the sizzling wires. The child is mesmerised by the cables: their written-script-like curvature Like lovely freehand; their extent as they stretch out miles/ east and miles west beyond us; the tests to which Nature subjects them: sagging/ Under the burden of swallows. The children’s understanding of telecommunications provides an attractive alternative to the truth: […]