Celebrate 25 Years Of Poems On The Underground

By Lindsey Last edited 98 months ago
Celebrate 25 Years Of Poems On The Underground

For those without a Metro, book or gadget with headphones, Poems on the Underground are a welcome diversion from your fellow passengers' knees and adverts for dating sites. These diverse verses, carefully selected to elegantly inspire between stops, have been delighting tube travellers for 25 years.

A new collection has just been released into the network, themed around the value of the written word. To reflect the silver anniversary, two poems are by poets who featured in the very first selection to arrive on the Underground in 1986; Seamus Heaney and Grace Nichols. For those who like a puzzle, A Riddle by Gerard Benson, one of the founder-editors of Poems on the Underground, asks you to guess what he's talking about. Keats and Hardy also contribute poems, respectively "Lines From Endymion" and "Lines to a Movement in Mozart's E-flat Symphony".

Have a look through the Poetry Archive and see how many verses you've absorbed into your memory from seeing them on the tube. Sadly, the recent set of poems by young writers aren't included here but you can find them over at the Poetry Society website. We love all three of the winning pieces but especially Hattie Grunewald's First Contact.

Share your favourite Poem on the Underground in the comments.

Leaflets of the new poems as well as a few other poems from the early years will be available at central London stations later this month.

Not averse to some more verse? Read our London Poetry series.

Last Updated 07 January 2011