Poetry Genius Shares the Best Train Rhymes Ever

Poetry Genius Editor in Chief

Happy National Poetry Month! As we gear up for #AmtrakResidency, which will give 24 writers the opportunity to work on their projects during inspiring, long-distance train travel, we wanted to join this country-wide celebration and learn a bit more about train poetry.

We chatted with Austin Allen, poet, essayist, and founding editor of Poetry Genius, an annotation forum for poetry, prose and drama.

Who’s your favorite up-and-coming poet today?
It’s too hard to pick just one, so I’ll answer in the most biased way possible by naming some talented friends who have annotated their poetry on Poetry Genius: Erica Dawson, Jenna Le, Rosanna Oh, Rebecca Parson, Joanna Pearson, Katherine Robinson.

What’s the best poem about trains you’ve ever read?
Philip Larkin’s “The Whitsun Weddings” is my favorite train poem and one of my favorite poems, period. I love the balance it strikes between reserved, skeptical detachment and a sense of communion with fellow passengers–both common feelings on train trips, I think. I’d also recommend Mark Strand’s “The Couple,” although the train in that one is sort of an antagonist.

Where do you like to write?
In bed, late at night, for a maximum of comfort and a minimum of distraction.

Want to write a haiku about Amtrak?
The late train rocks, sways
blue seats, nodding travelers,
gold light, sea-shadow

Now it’s your turn! What are your favorite travel inspired poems? Share them in the comments below.