July Poems

Poems from July 2020

Poetry is among the most international of the arts, speaking across time and place to readers of every age and background.  And London is the most international of cities, as its 6 million daily tube travellers testify.

We hope new readers will enjoy our July poems: a beautifully designed set of African poems, including poets from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya; World poems by Afghan, Turkish, Czech, Guyanese and Native American poets; selections from our many sets of London poems, Love poems, and War poems, and three poems by ‘Young Poets,’ chosen in association with the Poetry Society. 

Our new poems for August can be found on our this month’s poems page

African Poems on the Underground

African Poems on the Underground I Sing of Change Niyi Osundare I sing of the beauty of Athens without its slaves
African Poems on the Underground: Season, Wole Soyinka. Rust is ripeness, rust And the wilted corn- plume
African Poems on the Underground Et nous baignerons mon amie Léopold Sédar Senghor, tr. Gerard Benson we shall be bathed, my love in the presence of Africa
African Poems on the Underground: Tin Roof: Nii Ayikwei Parkes. Wild harmattan winds whip you but still you stay;
African Poems on the Underground: Inside My Zulu Hut Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali. It is a hive without any bees to build the walls with golden bricks of honey.

African Poems on the Underground: from Poem to Her Daughter Mwana Kupona binti Msham. Daughter, take this amulet, tie it with cord and caring,

World Poems on the Underground

World Poems on the Underground: My Voice, Partaw Naderi.tr. Sarah Maguire and Yama Yari. I come from a distant land with a foreign knapsack on my back
World Poems on the Underground: Finding India in Unexpected Places Sujata Bhatt. A street in Bath, a bus in Medellin, a gesture in Gyeongju
World Poems on the Underground Baku at Night Nazim Hikmet. Reaching down to the starlit heavy sea in the pitch-black night
World Poems on the Underground Toussaint L’Ouverture Acknowledges Wordsworth’s Sonnet ‘To Toussaint L’Ouverture’   John Agard. I have never walked on Westminster Bridge or had a close-up view of daffodils
World Poems on the Underground Carving , Imtiaz Dharkar. Others can carve out their space in tombs and pyramids
World Poems on the Underground Boy with Orange (out of Kosovo)  Lotte Kramer. A boy holding an orange in his hands has crossed the border in uncertainty
World Poems on the Underground: Birch Canoe,  Carter Revard. Red men embraced   my body's whiteness,  cutting into me    carved it free,
World Poems on the Underground And now goodbye,  Jaroslav Seifert.  Poetry is with us from the start.

London Poems on the Underground

London Poems on the Underground From Jerusalem, William Blake. The fields from Islington to Marylebone, To Primrose Hill and Saint John's Wood,
London Poems on the Underground Go where we may, Thomas Moore. Go where we may, rest where we will, Eternal London haunts us still.

London Poems on the Underground  Composed upon Westminster Bridge, William Wordsworth. Earth has not anything to show more fair:
London Poems on the Underground After the Lunch, Wendy Cope. On Waterloo Bridge, where we said our goodbyes, The weather conditions bring tears to my eyes.
London Poems on the Underground  Sweet Thames Flow Softly,   Ewan MacColl. I met my girl at Woolwich Pier, beneath a big crane standing.

Young Poets on the Underground

Young Poets on the Underground If a boy must wonder Leon Yuchin Lau. If a boy must wonder, let him recall, not the lightening grace of falcons,
Young Poets on the Underground First Contact Hattie Grunewald. The day the optician unframed my face and took away my childhood:
Young Poets on the Underground Whalesong Sophie Stephenson –Wright I boom-mumble   I gulf-cross  I listen-talk

Love Poems on the Underground

Love Poems on the Underground As a gale on the mountainside Sappho, tr. Cicely Herbert; This Place is Aphrodite’s Anyte of Tegea, tr. Peter Constantine.
Love Poems on the Underground She Tells Her Love  Robert Graves. She tells her love, while half asleep, in the dark hours, With half-words whispered low:
Love Poems on the Underground  Lesson.   Anne Stevenson. The girls and boys in winter know That love is like the drifting snow;
Love Poems on the Underground They Flee from me,  Sir Thomas Wyatt. They flee from me that sometime did me seek with naked foot stalking in my chamber.
Love Poems on the Underground  The River Road ,  Sean O’Brien. Come for a walk down the river road, For though you're all a long time dead The waters part to let us pass
Love Poems on the Underground Promise   Jackie Kay. Remember, the time of year when the future appears like a blank sheet of paper

War Poems on the Underground

War Poems on the Underground  On Receiving News of the War  Isaac Rosenberg. Snow is a strange white word. No ice or frost Has asked of bud or bird For Winter's cost.
War Poems on the Underground   Parting in Wartime   Frances Cornford. How long ago Hector took off his plume Not wanting that his little son should cry,
War Poems on the Underground:   For the War Dead A. E. Housman. Here dead lie we because we did not choose To live and shame the land from which we sprung.

Poems displayed in June can be found on our June Poems page

Poems displayed earlier can be found on our Favourite Poems page