New Poems on the Underground February 2021

We are delighted to have a new set of Poems on the Underground in February .

Our first set of poems in 2021 features two poems by Keats, a stanza from Shelley’s elegy for his fellow-poet, and poems by Jamaican, Polish and English poets related to Keats’s love of art and nature.

from Endymion, John Keats A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing A flowery band to bind us to the earth, Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all, Some shape of beauty moves away the pall From our dark spirits.

When I have fears that I may cease to be, John Keats When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain, Before high-piled books, in charact’ry, Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain; When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that I may never live to trace Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance; And when I feel, fair creature of an hour! That I shall never look upon thee more, Never have relish in the faery power Of unreflecting love!--then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.
from Adonais, Percy Bysshe Shelley He is made one with Nature: there is heard His voice in all her music, from the moan Of thunder, to the song of night’s sweet bird; He is a presence to be felt and known In darkness and in light, from herb and stone, Spreading itself where’er that Power may move Which has withdrawn his being to its own; Which wields the world with never wearied love, Sustains it from beneath, and kindles it above.
Wish You Were Here, Julia Fiedorczuk , translated by Bill Johnston I open the window to let you in, rain, and your forceful breath startles the curtain, smelling of moss, forming droplets on my lips.
Rising, Jean Binta Breeze having some summers gone dug out that old tree stump that darkened my garden having waited without planting (for it was impossible then to choose the growth) having lost the dream but not the art of healing having released the roots of pain into content I now stir the skies
I go inside the tree, Jo Shapcott Indoors for this ash is through the bark: notice its colour – asphalt or slate in the rain then go inside, tasting weather in the tree rings, scoffing years of drought and storm, moving as fast as a woodworm who finds a kick of speed for burrowing into the core, for mouthing pith and sap, until the o my god at the heart.

You can see more Poems for this month here