Night Mail

Every now and then (2005 and 2007 I blog about W. H. Auden.

Today I came across "Night Mail", a 1936 documentary film about a London, Midland and Scottish Railway mail train from London to Scotland. For this film W.H. Auden wrote a poem, Benjamin Britten made the music.

There's a Nightmail Video on Youtube that is worth watching and listening as the poem's rhythm imitates that of the train wheels and starts picking up and gaining speed.

The opening starts like this:

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door....

The poem's full text is here.


Friko said...

This is a very well known poem and film; it is wonderfully evocative.
We have used it in poetry sessions a number of times. Thank you for reminding me.

francessa said...

It was a pleasure! I'm trying to order the film now.

Friko said...

yes, absolutely, do. I could watch it, listen to the words and music many times without ever getting tired of it.

Thank you for following me.

Lydia said...

I will read the full poem! April is poetry month and I have been SO impressed with the beautiful poems being shared in the blogosphere. In my little town the annual Poetry Festival will begin this weekend, with published poets invited for readings and then one night there will be "open-mic" where anyone can step forward on stage and read his/her poetry.

francessa said...

Thanks for following me, Friko!

Lydia, please keep us informed about the Poetry Festival. Will you read some of your poetry?

Lydia said...

I have never had the nerve, and I don't see that changing this year!

Hey, there is an award for you over at my blog. I'm working on the post now and it should be done in a little bit. :)

francessa said...

Wow, Lydia, thank you! I'm going to your blog right now.

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