Hidden Histories project for Exeter University

A poem about Totnes railway station and Sean O’Casey’s contribution to it.

He lived in Totnes near the station from 1938-1954 


Sean O’Casey’s Pond   


The train is late,
heat tricks along the lines.
We sit resigned.We are
British and this our rail,
our station, which received
one bomb during the war.
Its casualty was a man sitting
in the waiting room. A direct hit. 
Our station, with its white picket fence,
its chiming bells and apologies
and a pigeon coddling her brood
in the rafters and the lily pond
on platform two, placed there by
Sean O’Casey during his sojourn
in Totnes, and happy chance that
he did, the pond with its goldfish
and several lily flowers and its
water boatmen, is a small eye
to borrowed heaven, reflecting
the sky, the hovering damsel-fly
and our peering faces.

One thought on “Hidden Histories project for Exeter University

  1. My goodness Rose, what a surprise!

    We met at a Wondermentalist Cabaret, I noticed your site in some search results while meandering around the web and the first poem that I see is this about Totnes and Sean O’Casey. Sean was my grandfather.

    It was an extraordinary experience to see this poem. I can’t wait to show my mother.

    Gobsmaked is the word that leaps to mind.

    All the best,

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