Dear Oscar Wilde,

Of all Authors Oscar Wilde remains a firm favourite. I grew up with a beautiful copy of 'The Selfish Giant' which I still treasure. But it was 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' that really changed the way I viewed good writing. It has the most powerfully complete ending that I have read - supreme satisfaction = masterful ending. Wonderful. I think that i literally (and literary!) fell in love with his writing. Since then I have delved into his plays, poetry, stories and witticisms. The following is a pastiche of the e...p...i...c 'Ballad of Reading Gaol'. Gorgeous rythms. It was written as a class exercise in 2008.

The Ballad of Reading Station
(After the Ballad of Reading Gaol)

It remains a fate of life
One must endure The Wait
Interminable lengths to pass
Under signs that indicate
That the train was due before now,
Around ten past eight

An announcement is paraded loud
– Obstructions further up the line –
Opera glasses reveal to all
That it actually looks fine
Brandished words are thus ignored,
It is now half past nine

A lady of certain heritage
Resounds complaints a-wail
“So much for our famed modernity
All these rails are due to fail,
I could sooner have posted myself,
You can trust The Royal Mail!”

A sympathetic Gent consoles
Yet not serious is her summation
As just when he calls for a cab
The engine rolls into the station
And they all board, even as it is late,
It is now ten – an indication

As the itinerary of their journey
Will invariably unravel,
So visitors to our British Isle
Will fair have to marvel
At the extra time allowed by all
To manage peak time travel

It remains a fate of life
One must endure The Wait
Interminable lengths to pass
When your train is running late
And you get two hours of brooding
That it is British Rail you hate!