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 A misprint in a newspaper reported: ‘Auden stepped from the train and was greeted by a small but enthusiastic crow.
’ ‘Hmm,’ Auden thought when first he saw the bird, as train came to a stop, ‘I’ll make this image mine before some Yorkshire upstart snaps it up.
’ He drew a notebook from his mac’, unclipped a biro from his tweed, stared at the crow, the crow stared back then recognising him indeed began to stun the platform crowd, began to flap, began to sing, and the poet wrote about its loud and flattering beak, applauding wings.
Reporters, fans all stood amazed.
It seemed as if all clocks had stopped.
Only Auden stood unfazed.
Only his chin hadn’t dropped.
He pulled a Woodbine from its pack, pulled out a match and struck a light, stared at the crow, the crow stared back.
The night mail train pulled into sight.
John Lindley

Poem by John Lindley
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