Don't You Hear That Whistle Blowin...
dreamed 1974/9/6 by Denise Levertov
The 4 a.m. freight comes pounding and shaking through
the fall night
and I go to the Middle Door to watch,
and Steve hurries along to look too--for he's out of Appalachia,
and Richard comes close behind, gazing intently
and I seem to smell iron and rust, an animal smell,
and I want you, Mitch, to step out with me into the dark garden,
but as the cold air comes in I turn toward you and you're
Then I realize I'm waking up: the train really is going by
and there's no one in the house but you and me,
and this moment of dark boxcars just visible
is just the beginning of a long train of times I'll turn
This poem can be found in Levertov's collection The Freeing of the Dust (New York, New Directions, 1975).
Levertov actually dated Whistle "September 6-7, 1974". Dreamers all must decide whether to record a dream as a late-evening event, or an early-morning one, or both, as Levertov does. For brevity, the convention of the World Dream Bank has been to date night-dreams as late-evening events.
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