'Early Train' by Trevor Alexander is Write Out Loud Poem of the Week

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The new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is ‘Early Train’ by Trevor Alexander, about a commuter’s unrequited feelings for a fellow traveller. The poem includes these lines: "Some days like all the others she has deadened daybreak eyes / But other times they light up like a beautiful sunrise." In his answers to our fresh questions, Trevor said he prefers rhyming poetry: “My background is in engineering, so I guess I’m more comfortable with rigid structures.” This is the second time that Trevor has won Poem of the Week.


Can you tell us more about the background to this poem?

This poem was written for a local poetry group (Cleckheaton Library Poets), to a loose prompt of jobs/employment. I took the commute to work as a part of that, so I guess that's where it came from.


When you won POTW first time around, you told us that you had only been writing poetry for a few years, but now regularly attended poetry groups in West Yorkshire. Do you think sharing your poems at such groups has improved or changed your poetry in any way?

Attending local poetry groups has helped with my writing. It may not necessarily tell me whether my work is “good” or not, but it certainly tells me what people like. I only posted this poem after the reaction it got when I read it for the first time at the poetry group this week.


You also have said that you prefer form in poetry. Would you like to talk a little more about that? 

I do prefer rhyming form poetry. My background is in engineering, so I guess I'm more comfortable with rigid structures. That seems to carry forward into the sort of poetry I prefer to both write and read. That's not to say this preference is exclusive. I have also written free and blank verse poetry, although in general I don't find it as satisfying.


Plans for the future? Would you like to publish a collection of your poems?

I have recently had a book of my work printed, and offer it when I attend local groups. I don't advertise it much though - perhaps I should. I guess it was just a vanity thing, prompted by a cousin who encouraged me to do it - she liked some of the things when I sent her copies. I have previously had work published in anthologies both in the UK and America.




by Trevor Alexander


I see her every morning on the early shuttle train

A face that’s so familiar but I still don’t know her name

I can’t remember when it was that I first noticed her

But suddenly it registered that she was always there


Some days like all the others she has deadened daybreak eyes

But other times they light up like a beautiful sunrise

I wonder when I see her what it’s like to live her life

And sometimes, is she single or yet someone else’s wife


I don’t think she observes me when I steal a sneaky look

She seems to be oblivious and lost inside her book

And when I weave a fantasy that we become a pair

It doesn’t really matter that she doesn’t know I’m there


Then walking down the platform when we reach our journey’s end

I hope that if she saw me that she won’t misapprehend

For each of us remains within the bubble we create

And move on autopilot so we never deviate


Then riding home each evening I regret that she’s not there

And idly I consider if tomorrow I will dare

To have a conversation when I see her once again

When riding in the morning on the early shuttle train




◄ Sam Buchan-Watts to judge Poetry Book Society's Student Poetry Prize

'The fire glowed like a red eye through the furnace door' ►


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ken eaton-dykes

Thu 9th Nov 2017 09:43

I like this. Well done

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 8th Nov 2017 16:02

Right on track! I think a certain JB - lover of railways -
would have nodded his appreciation.
Poetry tends to comment on the process of "in passing"
and these lines are entirely suited to that theme.
By the way, I am tempted to believe that a life in engineering would encourage a sense of rhythm - since no successful project of that sort could
be obtained using haphazard irregular beats.

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Tue 7th Nov 2017 21:00

Congratulations on your poem of the week Trevor, and also on amply demonstrating that verse that is direct and easy to understand will always garner praise. I wish I could leave my cynicism behind when I muster a poem, but regrettably I find it impossible. So, well done!


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Trevor Alexander

Tue 7th Nov 2017 19:50

Thanks guys. 😃

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Harry O'Neill

Tue 7th Nov 2017 18:16

(Comment from N.H.S - land)

Nice rhymed poem with a very, very good choice of the right

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Martin Elder

Tue 7th Nov 2017 16:31

As has already been mentioned we writers of poetry do seem to grab a good deal of inspiration from people watching, which I know is certainly true of me . The weird the wonderful, the beautiful and those who simply melt into the wallpaper.
congratulations on POTW

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Graham Sherwood

Tue 7th Nov 2017 14:17

Although not a train (in my case it was a bus) this is my love story so it struck such a chord and will with loads of people. As we poets develop our people watching skills, these encounters drift in and out of our lives quite often.

You have captured it perfectly Trevor!

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Colin Hill

Tue 7th Nov 2017 08:58

Congratulations Trevor on achieving the lofty status of second time WoL POTW winner. In many ways this poem is highly relatable to us dreamy poets who momentarily allow our over furtive minds to wander, sometimes inappropriately! But hey, isn't that how all great works of fiction come about? If you don't allow your mind to wander your writing stands still. Cheers, Col.

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Trevor Alexander

Tue 7th Nov 2017 00:23

Thanks Des.


Mon 6th Nov 2017 20:55

Hi Trevor, congratulations on POTW. Just goes to show that there is certain advantages to commuting by train, such as inspiration for great poetry.

All the best des

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