The train stopped at a little station
and for a moment stood absolutely still.
The doors slammed, gravel crunched underfoot,
someone said goodbye forever,
a glove dropped, the sun dimmed,
the doors slammed again, even louder,
and the iron train set off slowly
and vanished in the fog like the nineteenth century.
Iron Train by Adam Zagajewski
translated by Clare Cavanagh
I have a thing for beautiful old passenger trains. You know the ones
I'm talking about; majestic, chugging massive pillars of smoke as they
depart the station, richly upholstered seats and classy dining cars.
David Lean loved to include marvelous train scenes in his films such
as Brief Encounter, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A
Passage to India, to name a few. Whenever I see a grand old train in
a movie, I am thrilled and make sure everyone else in the room takes
note. To hop aboard one of these beauties and set off for a long and
lazy romantic journey would be absolute heaven. It's a shame that
public transportation isn't what it once was in this country, at least
here in the Midwest.
And, speaking of trains, my daughter just sent me this picture, taken
as she waited for a train in Germany last week. The public transit
system is so convenient in Europe. Isn't this architecture in Dresden
stunning? She took this with her cell phone from a sidewalk cafe.
What a view! Sigh.