There Is a Train

Updated on October 11, 2018
shanmarie profile image

Shannon is a passionate individual whose feelings and thoughts tend spill onto the pages, often in the form of poetry and sometimes essays.

Source

The Assignment

This is a poem my daughter wrote a couple of years ago for a 4th-grade assignment. They were learning about the Underground Railroad and the history of slavery in America. Songs such as "Follow the Drinking Gourd" were said to contain codes and secret messages, so the assignment was to imagine she was a slave escaping on the Underground Railroad and write a poem utilizing common codewords from the era.

There Is a Train

There is a train

And it's leaving here tonight

Before the moon begins to wane

Following the north star's bright light


You better catch a ride

Don't worry about your baggage

You can bring it all inside

You don't even need a ticket to gain passage


Enjoy the view of the countryside

While you listen to the conductor

As he tells you about the railroad lines

He's an excellent instructor


You better catch a ride

Don't worry about your baggage

You can bring it all inside

You'll even get free passage


The conductor, he'll take you to the next station

Oh, there is a train leaving here tonight

What a good sensation

To be following the north star's bright light


You better catch a ride

Don't worry about your baggage

You can bring it all inside

You don't even need a ticket to gain passage

Common Codewords Utilized

Baggage - Secret reference to a fugitive slave

Conductor - Those who guided fugitive slaves between safe houses

Station/Depot - Secret names given to hiding places or safe houses

Railroad Lines - The route from house to another

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        2 weeks ago from Texas

        Thanks, Mark. She excels at these kinds of writing assignments.

      • Mark Tulin profile image

        Mark Tulin 

        2 weeks ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Cool assignment. She definitely deserved an A.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        9 months ago from Texas

        Thanks for stopping by, Lawrence. Glad you enjoyed it.

      • lawrence01 profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 

        9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

        Really enjoyed this poem.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        I don't think I have heard of that one, Manatita. I'll look it up. Thanks.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        10 months ago from london

        She did one on slaves and their getaways. It was a murder mystery all right.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        That's an interesting comment, manatita. Thanks for the compliment. I guess I'm not all that familiar with Agatha Christie, though, because the only book I can think of is a murder mystery.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        What a sweet thing to say, Chitrangada! Thanks. :)

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        Thanks, Louise. So glad you liked it.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        10 months ago from london

        Poetry of hope. Reminded me of one of Angela Lansbury's Agatha Christie movies.

        Thamks for the small Thesaurus too. Best wishes

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        10 months ago from New Delhi, India

        Excellent poem and thanks for helping with the codes. Your daughter is very talented and expressive. You must be her inspiration. Wish her all the best.

        Thanks for sharing this!

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 

        10 months ago from Norfolk, England

        That's a great poem your daughter wrote. I really enjoyed reading it!

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        Thank you, Gypsy. She's been enjoying the nice comments you all have posted. But she scolded me for not posting the tooth poem right away so that it didn't get lost.

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        10 months ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

        A fantastic and great use of those code words.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        Thanks, Mary. A lot of popular folk songs and songs from history can be looked at in a very different light once the history behind them is revealed. Your comparison is a compliment to her. Thanks again.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        Interesting poem. When I read it first, I never thought it was about the plight of slaves to the North. It was only when I read the explanation that I read through it again and appreciated it even more.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        Thanks, Eric. So glad you enjoyed it.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        Thanks, Zulma. She's got a talent for humor, too. She used to come home telling me about these sentences she'd come up with for writing at school. The class would be given a certain grammar structure to use in a sentence. Then the teacher would read them all out loud to the class. Her sentences were usually quite humorous. The class never had to ask who wrote it when hers was read out loud. Her teacher had good things to say about her talent, too.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        Thanks, Pamela. She writes when she has to. Not so much for fun. LOL. I'd like to see her do it more often, but I wouldn't push her to do something she doesn't want to do and make her not like it at all.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        Thanks, Bill. She does seem to have a talent for it, but she doesn't seem all that interested in it. She's got a flair for drama, too, and wants to do theater or drama classes next year when it's allowed. And she's started band this year so we'll see how that goes. It's an age of discovering interests and hobbies, I guess. I'll encourage her in whatever her interests are. :)

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        What a really cool article/poem. Very interesting about the code.

      • phoenix2327 profile image

        Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

        10 months ago from United Kingdom

        This is wonderful. Sounds like she's got your talent for writing. :D

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        10 months ago from Sunny Florida

        I think that is an outstanding poem for a 4th grader. I hope she did keep on writing.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        10 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Your daughter has game, Shannon! I'm sure you encourage her to keep on writing, which she should.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        Thanks, Maria! I wish I had a copy if a poem she wrote the year before she did this one. It was about teeth andnwas super cute. Her teacher thought she copied it off the internet or got help. She did neither. The only thing that I did was help her think of a rhyme for one line.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        Hi, Rinita. She's in 6th grade now. But I remember when she did this assignment because I had to help her look up the codewords for her to choose from.

      • shanmarie profile imageAUTHOR

        Shannon Henry 

        10 months ago from Texas

        Thanks, John. I am way late posting it. We moved so I tucked it away in a writing folder I have and we both forgot about it. I found it yesterday while going through papers. Just showed her these comments. She forgot writing it until she read it. LOL. Must not have been a favorite assignment.

      • marcoujor profile image

        Maria Jordan 

        10 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

        The writing gene runs in your family, Shannon.

        Very impressive work from your little girl!

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        10 months ago

        This is by a 4th grader? I mean, wow! Would have never known unless mentioned. Please convey my best regards to your daughter. She's brilliant!

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        10 months ago from Queensland Australia

        This was a well-written poem by your daughter, Shannon, and the fact it contains code words used at the time makes it even better. Thanks for the explanation of what they stand for...it is easy to understand the hidden message then.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)