Poetry offers hope and a voice to speak in difficult times.
You took away all the oceans and all the room by Osip Mandelstam
’25 February 1944′ by the poet Primo Levi translated by Eleonora Chiavetta
Jean Binta Breeze RIP
A Picture for Tiantian’s fifth birthday by Bei Dao translated by Bonnie S. McDougal and Chen Maiping
Poems on the Underground has been offering poetry to London’s tube travellers for thirty five years. You can read some of our favourite poems here, displayed in their original posters. We shall be regularly adding more poems from our collection, verses new and old, familiar and unfamiliar, serious and comic. We hope you will enjoy poems which have entertained millions of London commuters, inspiring similar programmes across the world.
You can see our new set of poems for Summer 2022 here
‘My name is OZYMANDIAS, King of Kings:
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
We are delighted to offer tube travellers a new summer set of poems.
The poems will circulate on London Underground and Overground trains for 4 weeks from July 18th.
Shelley’s sonnet Ozymandias, inspired by the Egyptian ruins at the British Museum, marks the bicentenary of the poet’s death on July 8th, 1822, aged 29.
Our international theme continues with famous lines by the 17th century Dean of St Pauls, John Donne: ‘No man is an island, entire of itself…’
Also featured: ‘Caterpillar’ by Guillaume Apollinaire, in a new version by the British poet and translator Robert Chandler.
An extract from War of the Beasts and the Animals by the dissident Russian poet Maria Stepanova, translated by Sasha Dugdale.
‘Ditches’ by the Irish poet Jessica Traynor.
‘Dei Miracole’ by the popular poet, playwright and broadcaster Lemn Sissay.
Our first set of poems in 2022 was circulating on Underground and Overground trains through February and March, with poems on love, music, and the coming of spring by Sasha Dugdale, Derek Walcott, Grace Nichols, Martin Bell and Raymond Antrobus.
We also introduced our year-long celebration of the bicentenary of the death of the Romantic poet P B Shelley with the last stanza of his Ode to the West Wind, with famous lines which resonate powerfully at this time: ‘O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?’
You can see our new set of poems for Spring 2022 here
A new set of poems circled London Underground trains throughout November 2021. Poems by the Scottish makar Jackie Kay and the distinguished Jamaican poet Linton Kwesi Johnson celebrate the enduring value of our closest human relationships. And well-loved poems by Keats and Hopkins, alongside new poems by Laurel Prizewinners Seán Hewitt and Sean Borodale, remind us of the glory and fragility of the natural world.
You can see our Autumn 2021 set of Poems on the Underground here
Our recent set of poems by an international range of poets was on London Underground cars throughout the summer of 2021
You can see our Summer 2021 set of Poems on the Underground here
In 2021 we also marked the bicentenary of London’s much -loved poet, John Keats, with a special display of posters at Hampstead Station and London Bridge Station
You can see our Poems to Celebrate Keats here
You can download a copy of our Black History Month Leaflet here
You can download a copy of our London Poems on the Underground leaflet here
You can download a copy of our World Poems Leaflet here