For all you fellow train commuters: here's the poem the first sentence of which always comes to my mind when, due to train delays, I miss my connection and eventually arrive with half an hour's delay. Admittedly the poem does not deal with a train delay but with a rather sizeable delay at an airport, but the attitude expressed in "Delay, well, travellers must expect / Delay" sums up the general lesson in humility and resignation which any kind of delay that is entirely outside one's own control can teach us... much against our will ;-) It was written by probably my favourite British poet, Philip Larkin.
Autobiography at an Air-Station
Delay, well, travellers must expect
Delay. For how long? No one seems to know.
With all the luggage weighed, the tickets checked,
It can't be long... We amble to and fro,
Sit in steel chairs, buy cigarettes and sweets
And tea, unfold the papers. Ought we to smile,
Perhaps make friends? No: in the race for seats
You're best alone. Friendship is not worth while.
Six hours pass: if I'd gone by boat last night
I'd be there now. Well, it's too late for that.
The kiosk girl is yawning. I feel staled,
Stupefied, by inaction - and, as light
Begins to ebb outside, by fear; I set
So much on this Assumption. Now it's failed.
Philip Larkin (6 December 1953)