Poem of the Week

I Sing of Change Niyi Osundare I sing of the beauty of Athens without its slaves Of a world free of kings and queens and other remnants of an arbitrary past

Our earlier Poems of the Week are below

Poem of the Week: September 24th

African Poems on the Underground: Season, Wole Soyinka. Rust is ripeness, rust And the wilted corn- plume

Poem of the Week: September 17th

For the Life of This Planet, Grace Nichols ‘ The way the red sun surrenders its wholeness to curving ocean bit by bit. The way curving ocean gives birth to the birth of stars in the growing darkness, wearing everything in its path to cosmic smoothness’

Poem of the Week: September 10th

Wedding by Alice Oswald 'From time to time our love is like a sail and when the sail begins to alternate from tack to tack, it’s like a swallowtail and when the swallow flies it’s like a coat; and if the coat is yours, it has a tear like a wide mouth and when the mouth begins to draw the wind, it’s like a trumpeter and when the trumpet blows, it blows like millions… and this, my love, when millions come and go beyond the need of us, is like a trick; and when the trick begins, it’s like a toe tip-toeing on a rope, which is like luck; and when the luck begins, it’s like a wedding, which is like love, which is like everything.'

Poem of the Week: September 3rd

Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 ,William Wordsworth 2009 Poems on the Underground poster 'Earth has not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty; This City now doth, like a garment, wear The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky; All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill; Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will: Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; And all that mighty heart is lying still!'

Poem of the Week: August 27th

'No Man is an Island' by John Donne from meditation 17, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions 'No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.'

Poem of the Week: August 20th

Ditches by Jessica Traynor ' So many songs I could sing you, spread fields of lavender for you to crush in your fists. But there are things more potent than the peaches and plums in your story books, there are shadows in the ditch that know your name. Sit with me – I’ll teach you theirs.' Reprinted by permission of Bloodaxe Books from Pit Lullabies (2022)

Poem of the Week August 13th

Under the Greenwood Tree by William Shakespeare (from As You Like It) 'Under the greenwood tree Who loves to lie with me, And turn his merry note Unto the sweet bird's throat, Come hither, come hither, come hither: Here shall he see No enemy But winter and rough weather. Who doth ambition shun And loves to live i' th' sun, Seeking the food he eats, And pleased with what he gets, Come hither, come hither, come hither! Here shall he see No enemy But winter and rough weather.' Poems on the Underground 1996 Poster

Poem of the Week August 6th

La Chenille Caterpillar by Guillaume Apollinaire, tr Robert Chandler 'La Chenille Le travail mène à la richesse. Pauvres poètes, travaillons! La chenille en peinant sans cesse Devient le riche papillon. Caterpillar Work hard, poets, work with good cheer: Work leads to wealth and freedom from fear; And butterflies, for all their graces, Are merely caterpillars who persevere. ' Reprinted by permission of Robert Chandler from Guillaume Apollinaire, Poems, translated by Robert Chandler (Everyman 2000)

Poem of the Week July 30th

Viv, Faustin Charles Like the sun rising and setting Like the thunderous roar of a bull rhino Like the sleek, quick grace of a gazelle,

Poem of the Week: July 23rd

Dei Miracole by Lemn Sissay ' The spirit of structure can’t be foreseen, For somewhere between The architecture and the dream More than the sum of its parts Somehow, somewhere, the heart.' Copyright Listener by Lemn Sissay, 2008. First published in Great Britain by Canongate Books Ltd.

Poem of the week: July 16th

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas ' Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night. Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night. Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light. And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.'

Poem of the Week: July 9th

Carole Satyamurti , Ourstory ' Let us now praise women with feet glass slippers wouldn't fit; not the patient, nor even the embittered ones who kept their place'

Poem of the Week: July 2nd

To Emilia V - by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) Music, when soft voices die, Vibrates in the memory - Odours, when sweet violets sicken, Live within the sense they quicken. Rose leaves, when the rose is dead, Are heaped for the beloved's bed - And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone, Love itself shall slumber on... Manuscript reproduced by permission of the Bodleian Library University of Oxford, MS. Shelley Adds. e.8, p.154 Poems on the Underground

Poem of the Week: June 25th

World Poems on the Underground: Birch Canoe,  Carter Revard. Red men embraced   my body's whiteness,  cutting into me    carved it free,

Poem of the Week: June 18th

Saturday Morning by Hugo Williams (b.1942) 'Everyone who made love the night before was walking around with flashing red lights on top of their heads - a white-haired old gentleman, a red-faced schoolboy, a pregnant woman who smiled at me from across the street and gave a little secret shrug, as if the flashing red light on her head was a small price to pay for what she knew. ' Reprinted by permission of Faber from Dock Leaves (1994) Poems on the Underground The British Library (Zweig Programme) London Arts Board. Design Tom Davidson.

Poem of the Week: June 11th

Indian Cooking, Moniza Alvi ' The bottom of the pan was a palette - paprika, cayenne, dhania haldi, heaped like powder - paints. Melted ghee made lakes, golden rivers. The keema frying, my mother waited for the fat to bubble to the surface. Friends brought silver - leaf .I dropped it on khir - special rice pudding for parties. I tasted the landscape, customs of my father's country - its fever on biting a chilli.'

Poem of the Week : June 4th

A Picture for Tiantian's fifth birthday by Bei Dao (b. 1949)Translated by Bonnie S. McDougall and Chen Maiping 'A Picture for Tiantian's fifth birthday Morning arrives in a sleeveless dress apples tumble all over the earth my daughter is drawing a picture how vast is a five-year-old sky your name has two windows one opens towards a sun with no clock-hands the other opens towards your father who has become a hedgehog in exile taking with him a few unintelligible characters and a bright red apple he has left your painting how vast is a five-year-old sky' Tiantian, the nickname given to the poet's daughter, is written with two characters which look like a pair of windows. Written in exile after Tienanmen Square Reprinted from Old Snow (Anvil, 1992)

Poem of the Week: May 28th

Spacetime by Miroslav Holub (b. 1923) Translated by David Young and Dana Habova 'When I grow up and you get small,/ then - (In Kaluza's theory the fifth dimension is represented as a circle associated with every point in spacetime) - then when I die, I'll never be alive again? Never. Never never? Never never. Yes, but never never never? No... not never never never, just never never. So we made a small family contribution to the quantum problem of eleven-dimensional supergravity.'

Poem of the Week: May 21st

IDYLL by U.A. Fanthorpe (b. 1929) ' Not knowing even that we're on the way, Until suddenly we're there. How shall we know? There will be blackbirds, in a late March evening Blur of woodsmoke, whisky in grand glasses, A poem of yours, waiting to be read; and one of mine; A reflective bitch, a cat materialised On a knee. All fears of present and future Will be over, all guilts forgiven. Maybe, heaven. Or maybe We can get so far in this world. I'll believe we can. '

Poem of the Week : May 14th

Coltsfoot and Larches by David Constantine (b. 1944) ' I love coltsfoot that they Make their appearance into life among dead grass: Larches, that they Die colourfully among sombre immortals.' Poems on the Underground Reprinted by permission of Bloodaxe from Collected Poems (2004) © David Constantine

Poem of the Week: May 7th

The Sunflower by Eugenio Montale (1889-1981) English version by Jeremy Reed ' Portami il girasole ch'io lo trapianti nel mio terreno bruciato dal salino, e mostri tutto il giorno agli azzurri specchianti del cielo l'ansieta del suo volto giallino. Tendono alla chiarita le cose oscure, si esauriscono i corpi in un fluire di tinte: queste in musiche. Svanire e dunque la ventura delle venture. Portami tu la pianta che conduce dove sorgono bionde trasparenze e vapora la vita quale essenza; portami il girasole impazzito di luce. Bring me the sunflower and I'll transplant it in my garden's burnt salinity. All day its heliocentric gold face will turn towards the blue of sky and sea. Things out of darkness incline to the light, colours flow into music and ascend, and in that act consume themselves, to burn is both a revelation and an end. Bring me that flower whose one aspiration is to salute the blond shimmering height where all matter's transformed into essence, its radial clockface feeding on the light.' Reprinted by permission of Bloodaxe from the Coastguard's House by Eugenio Montale, English versions by Jeremy Reed (1990). Italian text by permission of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.

Poem of the Week: April 30th

Hope by Edith Södergran (1892 - 1923) translated by Herbert Lomas' I want to let go - so I don't give a damn about fine writing, I'm rolling my sleeves up. The dough's rising ... Oh what a shame I can't bake cathedrals ... that sublimity of style I've always yearned for ... Child of our time - haven't you found the right shell for your soul? Before I die I shall bake a cathedral.'

Poem of the Week: April 23rd

Miracle by Yannis Ritsos Translated by Rae Dalven 'A man, before going to bed, put his watch under his pillow. Then he went to sleep. Outside the wind was blowing. You who know the miraculous continuity of little motions, understand. A man, his watch, the wind. Nothing else.'

Poem of the Week: April 16th

Full Moon & Little Frieda by Ted Hughes 'A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark and the clank of a bucket - And you listening. A spider's web, tense for the dew's touch. A pail lifted, still and brimming - mirror To tempt a first star to a tremor. Cows are going home in the lane there, looping the hedges with their warm wreaths of breath - A dark river of blood, many boulders, Balancing unspilled milk. 'Moon!' you cry suddenly, 'Moon! Moon!' The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work That points at him amazed.'

Poem of the Week: April 9th

Poem of the Week: April 2nd

Qu'une place soit faite... Let a Place be Made by Yves Bonnefoy (b.1923) Translated by Anthony Rudolf 'Let a place be made for the one who draws near, The one who is cold, deprived of any home, Tempted by the sound of a lamp, by the lit Threshold of a solitary house. And if he is still exhausted, full of anguish, Say again for him those words that heal. What does this heart which once was silence need If not those words which are both sign and prayer, Like a fire caught sight of in the sudden night, Like the table glimpsed in a poor house?'

Poem of the Week: March 26th

Distances, Philippe Jaccottet (b.1925) Translated by Derek Mahon 'Les distances Tournent les martinets dans les hauteurs de l' air: plus haut encore tournent les astres invisibles. Que le jour se retire aux extrémités de la terre, apparaîtront ces feux sur l' etendue de sombre sable… Ainsi nous habitons un domaine de mouvements et de distances; ainsi le coeur va de l' arbre à l' oiseau, de l' oiseau aux astres lointains, de l' astre à son amour. Ainsi l' amour dans la maison fermée s' accroît, tourne et travaille, serviteur des soucieux portant une lampe à la main. Swifts turn in the heights of the air; higher still turn the invisible stars. When day withdraws to the ends of the earth their fires shine on a dark expanse of sand. We live in a world of motion and distance. The heart flies from tree to bird, from bird to distant star, from star to love; and love grows in the quiet house, turning and working, servant of thought, a lamp held in one hand. '

Poem of the Week: March 19th

POETRY LA POESIA by Pablo Neruda (1904-73) translated by Alastair Reid ' La Poesía Y fue a esa edad... Llegó la poesía a buscarme. No sé, no sé de dónde salió, de invierno o río.... And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where it came from, from winter or a river. I don't know how or when, no, they were not voices, they were not words, nor silence, but from a street I was summoned, from the branches of night, abruptly from the others, among violent fires or returning alone, there I was without a face and it touched me.'

Poem of the Week: March 12th

A song for England, Andrew Salkey. Poems on the Underground poster 1991 'An' a so de rain a-fall An' a so de snow a-rain An' a so de fog a-fall An' a so de sun a-fail An' a so de seasons mix An' a so de bag-o'-tricks But a so me understan' De misery o' de Englishman.

Poem of the Week: March 5th

My children by Choman Hardi I can hear them talking, my children fluent English and broken Kurdish. And whenever I disagree with them they will comfort each other by saying: Don't worry about mum, she's Kurdish. Will I be the foreigner in my own home? '

Poem of the Week: February 26th

Upwards (for Ty Chijioke) after Christopher Gilbert by Raymond Antrobus ' The last place the sun reaches in my garden is the back wall where the ivy grows above the stinging nettles. What are they singing to us? Is it painless to listen? Will music soothe our anxious house? Speech falls on things like rain sun shades all the feelings of having a heart. Here, take my pulse, take my breath, take my arms as I drift off ' Reprinted by permission of Picador from All the Names Given (2021)

Poem of the Week: February 19th

from Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley 'Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is: What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth! And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawakened Earth The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?'

Poem of the Week: February 12th

On a General Election by Hilaire Belloc 'The accursed power which stands on Privilege (And goes with Women, and Champagne and Bridge) Broke — and Democracy resumed her reign: (Which goes with Bridge, and Women and Champagne).'

Poem of the Week: February 5th

New Year 1933 by Lu Xun (1881 - 1936) Translated by W.J.F. Jenner, Calligraphy by Qu Lei Lei 'The general sits safe on his cloud - wrapped peak While thunderbolts slaughter the humble in their hovels. Far better to live in the International Settlement ,Where the clacking of mahjong heralds the spring .' Chinese Poems on the Underground

Poem of the Week: January 29th

Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns 'Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to min'? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And days o' auld lang syne? We twa hae run about the braes, And pu'd the gowans fine; But we've wander'd mony a weary foot Sin' auld lang syne. We twa hae paidl't i' the burn, From mornin sun till dine; But seas between us braid hae roar'd Sin' auld lang syne. Chorus: For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet For auld lang syne.'

Poem of the Week: January 22nd

The Twa Corbies , Anon 'As I was walking all alane, I heard twa corbies making a mane; The tane unto the tither say, ‘Whar sall we gang and dine the day?’ ‘In behint yon auld fail dyke, I wot there lies a new-slain knight; And naebody kens that he lies there, But his hawk, his hound, and his lady fair. ‘His hound is to the hunting gane, His hawk, to fetch the wild-fowl hame, His lady’s ta’en another mate, So we may mak our dinner sweet. ‘Ye’ll sit on his white hause-bane, And I’ll pike out his bonny blue een: Wi’ ae lock o’ his gowden hair We’ll theek our nest when it grows bare. ‘Mony a one for him maks mane, But nane sall ken whar he is gane; O’er his white banes, when they are bare, The wind sall blaw for evermair.’

Poem of the Week: January 15th

The Creel by Kathleen Jamie 'The world began with a woman, shawl-happed, stooped under a creel, whose slow step you recognize from troubled dreams. You feel obliged to help bear her burden from hill or kelp-strewn shore, but she passes by unseeing thirled to her private chore. It's not sea birds or peat she's carrying, not fleece, nor the herring bright but her fear that if ever she put it down the world would go out like a light.'

Poem of the Week: January 8th

Gavin Ewart , A 14 year old Convalescent Cat in the Winter Poems on the Underground 1995 ' I want him to have another living summer, to lie in the sun and enjoy the douceur de vivre- because the sun, like golden rum in a rummer, is what makes an idle cat un tout petit peu ivre- I want him to lie stretched out, contented, revelling in the heat, his fur all dry and warm, an Old Age Pensioner, retired, resented by no one, and happinesses in a beelike swarm to settle on him – postponed for another season that last fated hateful journey to the vet from which there is no return (and age the reason), which must come soon – as I cannot forget''

Poem of the Week: January 1st

Promise by Jackie Kay: Remember, the time of year when the future appears like a blank sheet of paper a clean calendar, a new chance. On thick white snow you vow fresh footprints then watch them go with the wind’s hearty gust. Fill your glass. Here’s tae us. Promises made to be broken, made to last.'

Poem of the Week: December 25th

Don’t Call Alligator Long-Mouth till You Cross River by John Agard ' Call alligator long-mouth call alligator saw-mouth call alligator pushy-mouth call alligator scissors-mouth call alligator raggedy-mouth call alligator bumpy-bum call alligator all dem rude word but better wait till you cross river.'

Poem of the Week: December 18th

Quark by Jo Shapcott ‘Transcendental,’ said the technician, ‘to stumble on a quark that talks back. I will become a mystagogue, initiate punters into the wonders of it for cash.’ ‘Bollocks’, said the quark, from its aluminium nacelle. ‘I don’t need no dodgy crypto-human strategising my future. Gonna down-size under the cocoplum or champak, drink blue marimbas into the sunset, and play with speaking quarklike while I beflower the passing gravitons.’

Poem of the Week: December 11th

Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith ' Nobody heard him, the dead man, But still he lay moaning: I was much further out than you thought And not waving but drowning. Poor chap, he always loved larking And now he’s dead It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way, They said. Oh, no no no, it was too cold always (Still the dead one lay moaning) I was much too far out all my life And not waving but drowning.'

Poem of the Week: December 4th

from Beowulf Anon. (10th century or earlier) translated by Seamus Heaney 'Then a powerful demon, a prowler through the dark, nursed a hard grievance. It harrowed him to hear the din of the loud banquet every day in the hall, the harp being struck and the clear song of a skilled poet telling with mastery of man's beginnings, how the Almighty had made the earth a gleaming plain girdled with waters; in His splendour He set the sun and the moon to be earth's lamplight, lanterns for men, and filled the broad lap of the world with branches and leaves; and quickened life in every other thing that moved. '

Poem of the Week: November 27th

Waiting for Rain in Devon, Peter Porter (b.1929) ) ' Rain here on a tableau of cows might seem a return to everyday - why, you can almost poach the trout with your hands, their element has so thickened! Something has emerged from dreams to show us where we are going, a journey to a desolate star. Come back, perennial rain, stand your soft sculptures in our gardens for the barefoot frogs to leap.'

Poem of the Week November 20th

from Requiem, Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966)Translated by Richard McKane 'The hour of remembrance has drawn close again. I see you, hear you, feel you: the one they could hardly get to the window, the one who no longer walks on this earth, the one who shook her beautiful head, and said: 'Coming here is like coming home.' I would like to name them all but they took away the list and there's no way of finding them. For them I have woven a wide shroud from the humble words I heard among them. I remember them always, everywhere, I will never forget them, whatever comes.'

Poem of the Week November 13th

The General , Siegfried Sassoon ' Good-morning, good-morning!” the General said When we met him last week on our way to the line. Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead, And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine. “He's a cheery old card,” grunted Harry to Jack As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack. But he did for them both by his plan of attack.'

Poem of the Week November 6th

Leaf , Seán Hewitt from Tongues of Fire 'For woods are forms of grief grown from the earth. For they creak with the weight of it. For each tree is an altar to time. For the oak, whose every knot guards a hushed cymbal of water. For how the silver water holds the heavens in its eye. For the axletree of heaven and the sleeping coil of wind and the moon keeping watch. For how each leaf traps light as it falls. For even in the nighttime of life it is worth living, just to hold it.'

Poem of the Week October 30th

The Palm Trees at Chigawe. Jack Mapanje 'You stood like women in green Proud travellers in panama hats and java print'

Poem of the Week October 23rd

Ibadan J.P. Clark-Bekederemo ' Ibadan, running splash of rust and gold - flung and scattered among seven hills like broken china in the sun.'

Poem of the Week October 16th

Anti-Slavery Movements. Benjamin Zephaniah 'Some people say Animal liberators are not Working in the interest of animals. But I've never seen liberated animals Protest by going back to their place Of captivity. But then again I've never heard of any liberated slaves Begging for more humiliation Or voting for slavery. Animals vote with their feet Or their wings Or their fins.

Poem of the Week October 9th

Map of the New World: Archipelagoes , Derek Walcott ' At the end of this sentence, rain will begin. At the rain's edge, a sail. Slowly the sail will lose sight of islands; into a mist will go the belief in harbours of an entire race. The ten-years war is finished. Helen's hair, a grey cloud. Troy, a white ashpit by the drizzling sea. The drizzle tightens like the strings of a harp. A man with clouded eyes picks up the rain and plucks the first line of the Odyssey.'

Poem of the Week October 2nd

Come. and be my baby ,Maya Angelou 'The highway is full of big cars going nowhere fast And folks is smoking anything that'll burn Some people wrap their lives around a cocktail glass And you sit wondering where you're going to turn. I got it. Come. And be my baby. Some prophets say the world is gonna end tomorrow But others say we've got a week or two The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror And you sit wondering what you're gonna do. I got it. Come. And be my baby.'

Poem of the Week September 25th

No Man is an Island, John Donne. 'No Man is an Island, Entire of Itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. '

Poem of the Week September 18th

Celia Celia, Adrian Mitchell ' When I am sad and weary When I think all hope has gone When I walk along High Holborn I think of you with nothing on'

Poem of the Week September 11th

Autumn Evening, Matsuo Basho ' Autumn evening- A crow on a bare branch'

Poem of the Week September 4th

Anise Koltz Tr. John Montague , The Birds Will Still Sing ' Les oiseaux continuent à chanter Abattez mes branches sciez-moi en morceaux les oiseaux continuent à chanter dans mes racines The Birds Will Still Sing Break my branches saw me into bits the birds will still sing in my roots'

Poem of the Week August 28th

Love in a Bathtub, Sujata Bhatt ' Years later we'll remember the bathtub the position of the taps the water, slippery as if a bucketful of eels had joined us ... we'll be old, our children grown up but we'll remember the water sloshing out the useless soap, the mountain of wet towels. 'Remember the bathtub in Belfast?' we'll prod each other-'

Poem of the Week August 21st

Poem of the Week August 14th

This Is Just To Say , William Carlos Williams Poems on the Underground Poster January 1986 'I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox and which you were probably saving for breakfast Forgive me they were delicious so sweet and so cold'

Poem of the Week August 7th

Midsummer, Tobago, Derek Walcott 'Broad sun-stoned beaches. White heat. A green river. A bridge, scorched yellow palms from the summer-sleeping house drowsing through August. Days I have held, days I have lost, days that outgrow, like daughters, my harbouring arms.'

Poem of the Week July 31st

W.H. Auden, Song ' Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead, Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good.'

Poem of the Week July 24th

Day Trip, Carole Satymurti ' Two women, seventies, hold hands on the edge of Essex, hair in strong nets, shrieked laughter echoing gulls as shingle sucks from under feet easing in brine.'

Poem of the Week July 17th

I am Becoming My Mother, Lorna Goodison Poems on the Underground Poster 1987 'I Am Becoming My Mother Yellow/brown woman fingers smelling always of onions My mother raises rare blooms and waters them with tea her birth waters sang like rivers my mother is now me My mother had a linen dress the colour of the sky and stored lace and damask tablecloths to pull shame out of her eye. I am becoming my mother brown/yellow woman fingers smelling always of onions.'

Poem of the Week July 10th

Black Ink, Fawzi Karim, in a version by Anthony Howell ‘The darkness of this night is greater Than the power of a sultan. Ink from my books, shelf upon shelf of them, Pours down the curtains. Every book is an overturned inkwell. Patience, I say. Day will dawn, And the colours will spill everywhere. Snatching up the brush, I try to paint the walls green, The curtains rosy pink, But now the waves come washing in: Blue – with light’s sporadic wink.’

Poem of the Week July 3rd

from The Greek Anthology, Anyte of Tegea trans. David Constantine ‘Midsummer in the leaves there’s a murmuring breath of air. Among the roots a cold spring bubbles through. Wayfarer, weary to death, here is kindness to spare. Earthly, heavenly, as the tree lives, so may you.’

Poem of the Week June 26

First Fig, Edna St. Vincent Millay 'My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah! my foes, and oh, my friends - It gives a lovely light!'

Poem of the Week June 19th

If Bach Had Been a Beekeeper, Charles Tomlinson ' If Bach Had Been a Beekeeper he would have heard all those notes suspended above one another in the air of his ear as the undifferentiated swarm returning to the exact hive to place in the hive, topping up the cells with the honey of C major, food for the listening generations, key to their comfort and solace of their distress as they return and return to those counterpointed levels of hovering wings where movement is dance and the air itself a scented garden'

Poem of the Week June 12th

The Visitor, Carolyn Forché ' In Spanish he whispers there is no time left. It is the sound of scythes arcing in wheat, the ache of some field song in Salvador. The wind along the prison, cautious as Francisco's hands on the inside, touching the walls as he walks, it is his wife's breath slipping into his cell each night while he imagines his hand to be hers. It is a small country. There is nothing one man will not do to another'

Poem of the Week June 5th

Benediction, James Berry 'Thanks to the ear that someone may hear Thanks to seeing that someone may see Thanks to feeling that someone may feel Thanks to touch that one may be touched Thanks to flowering of white moon and spreading shawl of black night holding villages and cities together'

Poem of the Week May 29th

London Bells. Anon ' Two Sticks & an Apple, Ring ye Bells at Whitechapple Old Father Bald Pate, Ring ye Bells Aldgate, Maids in white Aprons, Ring ye Bells a St. Cathrines, Oranges and Lemmons, Ring ye Bells at St. Clemens, When will you pay me, Ring ye Bells at ye Old Bailey, When I am Rich, Ring ye Bells at Fleetditch, When will that be, Ring ye Bells at Stepney, When I am Old, Ring ye great Bell at Pauls.'

Poem of the Week May 22nd

My Father, Yehuda Amichai 'The memory of my father is wrapped up in white paper, like sandwiches taken for a day at work. Just as a magician takes towers and rabbits out of his hat, he drew love from his small body, and the rivers of his hands overflowed with good deeds.'

Poem of the week May 15th

Song: On May Morning, John Milton Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger, Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose. Hail bounteous May that dost inspire Mirth and youth and warm desire! Woods and groves are of thy dressing, Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and wish thee long.'

Poem of the week May 8th

Poem of the week May 1st

Cuts, Sam Riviere ' I can see that things have gotten pretty bad our way of life threatened by financiers assortments of phoneys and opportunists and very soon the things we cherish most will likely be taken from us the wine from our cellars our silk gowns and opium but tell me what do you expect Chung Ling Soo much ridiculed conjurer of the court and last of the dynasty of brooms to do about it?'

Poem of the week April 24th

Peaceful Waters: Variation, Frederico Garcia Lorca (1898 - 1936) translated by Adrian Mitchell 'peaceful waters of the air under echo's branches peaceful waters of a pool under a bough laden with stars peaceful waters of your mouth under a forest of kisses'

Poem of the week April 17th

from The Song of Solomon, The King James Bible (1611) ' My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my Love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over, and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. '

Poem of the week April 10th

Jean Binta Breeze, Moonwise Moonwise (for my children, all) sometimes you know the moon is not a perfect circle and the master Painter makes a passing brush touch with a cloud don't worry we've passed the dark side all you children rest easy now we are born moonwise'

Poem of the week April 3rd

Ariel's Song from The Tempest, William Shakespeare 'Where the bee sucks, there suck I; In a cowslip's bell I lie; There I couch when owls do cry'

Poem of the week March 27th

For the House Sparrow, in Decline, Paul Farley ' Your numbers fall and it's tempting to think you're deserting our suburbs and estates like your cousins at Pompeii;'

Poem of the week March 20th

At Sixty, Christine De Luca ' Dat line whaar birds, hurless, cross a treshel-tree, winter at der back, or a skirl o simmer afore dem.'

Poem of the week March 13th

Infant Joy, William Blake ' I have no name I am but two days old.- What shall I call thee?

Poem of the week March 6th

Ode to A Nightingale, John Keats 'Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard In ancient days by emperor and clown:

Poem of the week February 27th

On the Thames, Karen McCarthy Woolf ‘The houseboat tilts into the water at low tide, ducklings slip in mud. Nothing is stable in this limbo summer, where he leaves his shoes in the flat.’

Poem of the week February 20th

Immigrant, Fleur Adcock 'November '63: eight months in London. I pause on the low bridge to watch the pelicans:'

Poem of the week February 13th

Westron wynde when wylt thou blow, Anon 'Westron wynde when wylt thou blow the small rain down can rain Christ that my love were in my arms and I in my bed again'

Poem of the week February 6th

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

Poem of the Week January 30th

In a Young Time, Gerard Benson ‘ In a young time it was skipping and sunlight and the world was acres and there was plunder.’

Poem of the Week January 23rd

Up in the Morning Early ,Robert Burns 'Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west, The drift is driving sairly; Sae loud and shrill's I hear the blast, I'm sure it's winter fairly.'

Poem of the Week January 16th

John Fuller, Concerto for Double Bass ' He is a drunk leaning companionably Around a lamp post or doing up With intermittent concentration Another drunk's coat.'

Poem of the Week January 9th

P. B. Shelley, The World’s Great Age Begins Anew 'The world’s great age begins anew, The golden years return, The earth doth like a snake renew her winter weeds outworn:'

Poem of the Week January 2nd

Love Poems on the Underground Promise   Jackie Kay. Remember, the time of year when the future appears like a blank sheet of paper

Poem of the Week December 26th

The Loch Ness Monster's Song, Edwin Morgan 'Sssnnnwhuffffll? Hnwhuffl hhnnwfl hnflhfl? Gdroblboblhobngbl gbl gl g g g g glbgl'

Poem of the Week December 19th

Eavan Boland, The Emigrant Irish ' Like oil lamps we put them out the back, of our houses, of our minds. We had lights better than, newer than and then a time came, this time and now we need them. Their dread, makeshift example.'

Poem of the Week December 12th

Encounter at St. Martin's, Ken Smith 'I tell a wanderer's tale, the same I began long ago, a boy in a barn, I am always lost in it. The place is always strange to me. In my pocket the wrong money or none, the wrong paper maps of another town, the phrase book for yesterday's language, just a ticket to the next station, and my instructions. In the lobby of the Banco Bilbao a dark woman will slip me a key, a package, the name of a hotel, a numbered account, the first letters of an unknown alphabet.'

Poem of the week December 5th

A dream of leavin, James Berry ' Man, so used to notn, this is a dream I couldn't dream of dreamin so - I scare I might wake up. One day I would be Englan bound! A travel would have me on sea not chained down below, every tick of clock, but free, man! Free like tourist! Never see me coulda touch world of Englan - when from all accounts I hear that is where all we prosperity end up. I was always in a dream of leavin. My half-finished house was on land where work-laden ancestors' bones lay. The old plantation land still stretch-out down to the sea, giving grazing to cattle.'

Poem of the week November 28th

Sisu, Lavinia Greenlaw ‘To persevere in hope of summer. To adapt to its broken promise. To love winter.’

Poem of the Week November 21st

World Poems on the Underground And now goodbye,  Jaroslav Seifert.  Poetry is with us from the start.

Poem of the Week November 14th

Isaiah 2.4 'And they shall beate their swords into plow-shares, and their speares into pruning hookes; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learne warre any more'

Poem of the Week November 7th

Heroes, Kathleen Raine ' This war's dead heroes, who has seen them? They rise, in smoke above the burning city, Faint clouds, dissolving into sky'

Poem of the Week October 31st

Nightsong: City, Dennis Brutus 'Sleep well, my love, sleep well: the harbour lights glaze over restless docks, police cars cockroach through the tunnel streets;'

Poem of the Week October 24th

The Thing Not Said, E.A. Markham ‘We need life-jackets now to float On words which leave so much unsaid.’

Poem of the Week October 17th

A song for England, Andrew Salkey 'An' a so de rain a-fall An 'a so de snow a-rain An 'a so de fog a-fall An 'a so de sun a-fail'

Poem of the Week October 10th

Guinep, Olive Senior 'Our mothers have a thing about guinep: Mind you don't eat guinep in your good clothes. It will stain them.'

Poem of the Week October 3rd

Benediction, James Berry 'Thanks to the ear that someone may hear Thanks to seeing that someone may see'

Poem of the Week September 26th

The Sloth, Theodore Roethke ‘In moving-slow he has no Peer. You ask him something in his Ear, He thinks about it for a Year;’

Poem of the Week September 19th

Layers of Kant reveal: Safrina Ahmed Winner, Foyle Young Poets, 2011 Celebrating 20 years of The Poetry Society’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award ‘The clouded mind is Kant without his hair extensions, his eyelash curler. We met last night and he was like Christmas, sad, a tree.’

Poem of the Week September 12th

from Autumn Journal, Louis MacNeice ‘September has come, it is hers Whose vitality leaps in the autumn, Whose nature prefers Trees without leaves and a fire in the fireplace . . .’

Poem of the Week September 5th

For the Life of This Planet, Grace Nichols ‘ The way the red sun surrenders its wholeness to curving ocean bit by bit. The way curving ocean gives birth to the birth of stars in the growing darkness, wearing everything in its path to cosmic smoothness’

Poem of the Week 29th August

Green the land of my poem, Mahmoud Darwish ‘Green the land of my poem is green and high Slowly I tell it slowly with the grace of a seagull riding the waves on the book of water I bequeath it written down to the one who asks to whom shall we sing when salt poisons the dew?’

Poem of the Week 22nd August

Bam Chi Chi La La London, 1969, Lorna Goodison ‘In Jamaica she was a teacher. Here, she is charwoman at night in the West End. She eats a cold midnight meal carried from home’

Poem of the Week 15th August

Gherkin Music, Jo Shapcott ‘walk the spiral up out of the pavement into your own reflection, into transparency, into the space where flat planes are curves and you are transposed’

Poem of the Week 8th August

Moment in a Peace March, Grace Nichols ‘A holy multitude pouring Moment in a Peace March through the gates of Hyde Park – A great hunger repeated in cities all over the world’

Poem of the Week 1st August

And if I speak of Paradise, Roger Robinson ‘And if I speak of Paradise then I’m speaking of my grandmother who told me to carry it always on my person, concealed, so no one else would know but me.’

Poem of the Week July 25th

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

Poem of the Week July 18th

London Poems on the Underground  Sweet Thames Flow Softly,   Ewan MacColl. I met my girl at Woolwich Pier, beneath a big crane standing.

Poem of the Week July 11th

My Voice ,Partaw Naderi Translated by Sarah Maguire and Yama Yari ' I come from a distant land with a foreign knapsack on my back with a silenced song on my lips As I travelled down the river of my life I saw my voice (like Jonah) swallowed by a whale And my very life lived in my voice' Kabul, December 1989

Poem of the Week July 4th

African Poems on the Underground I Sing of Change Niyi Osundare I sing of the beauty of Athens without its slaves

Poem of the Week June 29th

Poem of the Week June 22nd

Poem of the Week June 15th

Poem of the Week June 8th

Poem of the Week June 1st

I am Becoming My Mother, Lorna Goodison ' Yellow/brown woman fingers smelling always of onions My mother raises rare blooms and waters them with tea'

Poem of the Week May 25th

The Present, Michael Donaghy ' For the present there is just one moon, though every level pond gives back another .But the bright disc shining in the black lagoon, perceived by astrophysicist and lover ,is milliseconds old. And even that light's seven minutes older than its source. And the stars we think we see on moonless nights are long extinguished. And, of course, this very moment, as you read this line, is literally gone before you know it. Forget the here-and-now. We have no time but this device of wantonness and wit. Make me this present then: your hand in mine, and we'll live out our lives in it.'

Poem of the Week May 18th

Pilgrim ,Eunice de Souza 'The hills crawl with convoys. Slow lights wind round and down the dark ridges to yet another termite city. The red god rock watches all that passes. He spoke once. The blood-red boulders are his witness.. God rock, I'm a pilgrim. Tell me- Where does the heart find rest?'

Poem of the Week May 11th

Poem of the Week May 4th

Poem of the Week April 26th