Trains and Horses

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EL 266

"And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop -- docile and omnipotent --
At its own stable door."
Dickinson, The Railway Train

I find it funny how both Dickinson and Thoreau compare the train to horses. I guess they have certain similarities, the whistle and the neigh, their speed and usefulness, but I never would have likened the two. I guess it is just because I do not have the same view on horses as Thoreau or Dickinson did.

Before trains were widely used, horses were seen as the main mode of transportation for people and goods. Once the trains came about, horses were still used, but trains were gaining speed as the second most popular mode of transportation.

Both Dickinson and Thoreau harp on the noise aspect of the train, from the "hooting stanza" of the whistle to the sounds it creates through the hillsides. Both poets enjoyed nature, so I am sure that any unnatural sound would have been very evasive to them. 


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