If asked what he thinks is the best poem he ever wrote John is inclined to put forward one that was inspired several hundred miles from Reading.
“I felt that the way the verse form changed from verse two to three reflected perfectly the change of mood from darkness and gloom to light and hope. I wonder if readers will agree!”
With which we conclude this selection.
VISION OF HADES AT DARLINGTON STATION
Fenced in by gloomy colonnades
I seem to sense
The hovering shades
Of passengers departed hence.
Is Hell like this? Do these dim halls
Whose massive walls
Dispel all Light
Betoken an unending night?
Our train pulls out into fresh air –
The dream dissolves, the scare now past –
And Durham’s landscape shows more fair –
We’re bound for Paradise at last.