One of six posters - view the full set
The final set of poems in 2013 is the climax of a year-long celebration of LU150 - the anniversary of the opening of the Metropolitan line in 1863. The poems, on display for eight weeks from Oct 21, appear with the other poems featured this year in a booklet of London Poems on the Underground, 80,000 copies free to the public at Zone 1 tube stations from 14 October.
Three poems in the new set turn tube stations into verse: John Hegley’s specially commissioned poem ‘Thankyou London Underground’, Betjeman’s memory of alighting at every station as a child (with an illustration of ‘The Underground’ by Hugh Casson), and a delightful poem made of station ‘Spoonerisms’ by Brian O’Connor (a poet new to our programme). Contemporary London life is captured in ‘On the Thames’ by Karen McCarthy Woolf, born in London to English and Jamaican parents (illustrated by a ‘River view’ by David Gentleman); and there are two Poems on the Underground ‘staff choices’, Wordsworth’s sonnet ‘On Westminster Bridge’ and a poem from the first set of poems in 1986, ‘Like a Beacon’ by Grace Nichols, evoking the homesickness of a recent immigrant to our great city.
Poems are selected by writer Judith Chernaik and poets Gerard Benson and Cicely Herbert; posters are designed by Tom Davidson, and are available from the Poetry Society and the London Transport Museum. The Poems on the Underground programme is generously supported by TfL, Arts Council England and the British Council.
The Poetry Society and Poems on the Underground join forces to promote one of Britain's most successful public art projects. As well as being displayed on underground trains throughout the capital, school members of the society and subscribers receive a sets of Poems on the Underground Posters each time they are released.
You can also order individual posters or sets through our shop; we ask for a £3 for an individual poster or £9.99 for a set in order to cover the storage, handling, postage and packing costs.
Poems on the Underground is supported by TfL, Arts Council England and the British Council, which makes the poems available to its teaching centres abroad. Poems are selected by Judith Chernaik, Gerard Benson and Cicely Herbert, the three friends and fellow-writers who founded the programme in 1986. Posters are designed by Tom Davidson, and are available through the Poetry Society and London Transport Museum shop. The poems are reprinted on the websites of the Poetry Society, the British Council, Booktrust and TfL.
Tuesday 5th November at London Transport Museum
Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB 6.30pm-8pm
Poems on the Underground editors with comic poet and train buff John Hegley and the Apollo Chamber Players, conducted by David Chernaik, pay tribute to LU 150 with archive films from the LTM collection; Betjeman’s London (music by Jim Parker); and a live performance of The Way to the Sea (1938), words by Auden, music by Britten. Tickets £15 include a glass of wine, £15 (12 concessions)
Booking essential: ltmuseum.co.uk; Tel 020 7379 6344
Poems on the Underground release sets of around 6 posters three times a year. Below are some of the most recent sets which you can order online: