Train Poem/Dahl’s Work Saved?/Burns’ Farm Opens To Tourists – Poetry News Roundup February

Today on our poetry news round-up, we look at the poet laureate’s poem for a train, the new publishing decision on Roald Dahl’s books and the plans for Ellisland Farm.

Poet Laureate Marks 100 Years of Iconic Train

The poet laureate Simon Armitage has penned a special new poem to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the day the iconic Flying Scotsman locomotive entered service.

The poem describes the famous steam engine as:


As part of the process of writing the poem, Armitage took a ride on the train.

Speaking about that journey, he said that what had particularly struck him about the Flying Scotsman was


The whole journey felt rather dreamlike and truly incredible. He wanted to make sure that his poem was a real celebration of what he described as the analogue world, a place where people and physical objects have a real connection.

Celebrations to mark the anniversary took place on Friday, 24th February, marking exactly 100 years to the day of service from the Flying Scotsman, which took its first journey in 1923. The locomotive was built in Doncaster and designed by Sir Nigel Gresley. Not only was it the first train to complete a non-stop journey from London to Edinburgh in 1928, but it was the first locomotive in the UK to reach 100mph, a feat that it achieved 6 years later.

Publishers Retain Original Wording Following Outcry

Last week we looked at the news that Penguin intended to make some alterations to the wording in a number of Roald Dahl books before their next reprint.

Following an outcry from a number of authors and public figures, including the Prime Minister and the Queen Consort, Penguin has confirmed that the books will be printed in two separate formats. One reprint will be in the original form with no alterations and will be published by Puffin as the Roald Dahl Classic Collection, whilst an alternative will be released for younger readers.

Penguin has stated that they have made the decision as they recognise the importance of keeping the original words of the author and poet in print for the next generation.

Ellisland Farm to Become Tourist Attraction

The farm that was built by Robert Burns, Ellisland Farm, is set to be saved by a charity and turned into a tourist attraction.

Ellisland Farm, where Burns wrote some of his most famous works, is a 170-acre site and is located in Dumfries and Galloway, set on the banks of the River Nith. It was built by the poet for his family in 1788.

The Robert Burns Ellisland Trust have announced its plans to develop the site so that it can become a tourist attraction, with the farmhouse becoming an “immersive space” that will offer visitors the chance to see domestic life through the eyes of Burns and his wife.

There are also plans for an exhibition space as part of the work that will be carried out with space for many of the Ellisland collection of items that belonged to the poet being put on permanent display.

You must register to comment. Log in or Register.