In my new home, I can hear freight trains in the night. The tracks are two or three miles away, far enough so that the sounds of the trains, of wheels on the tracks and whistles at crossings, are both evocative and comforting as I drift toward sleep. I don't know what the trains carry, but in my dreams they are full of the letters we don't write anymore.
W.H. Auden wrote the poem Night Mail for a 1936 British documentary film about the mail trains. The music was composed by Benjamin Britten. How swiftly and efficiently the post offices in Britain and here in the States used to work before both countries turned away from the rails and took to the trucks and highways!
This clip from the film is actually part 3; the poem starts at the 2:40 mark. I have included links to parts 1 and 2 below. Thanks be to David Bromage, who has uploaded such a high-quality version to YouTube.
And finally, you can read the poem here.