Poems on the Underground Go Online

Londoners on lockdown have reduced the number of tube journeys they take by up to 95%. While commuters might be glad to avoid the crowds and congestion of their usual journeys, there is one aspect of tube travel we’re sure they are missing.

Poems on the Underground have been putting poetry posters into tube carriages since 1986. Advertising space usually engaged on a hard sell to a captive audience is instead given over to poetry: six new poem posters, three times a year. The poems – currently chosen by PotU founder Judith Chernaik with Imtiaz Dharker and George Szirtes – are a mixture of old and new, familiar and unfamiliar, serious and comic, drawn from the living traditions of British and World poetry.

A newly launched website brings the scheme online, offering favourite poems from thirty years of displays – from Burns, Blake and Shelley to Grace Nichols, Miroslav Holub and Po Chü-i. Poems on the Underground has inspired countless public transport poetry projects around the world. Now visitors from way beyond Zone 6 can share in the poems enjoyed by millions of commuting Londoners.

Mind the gap at www.poemsontheunderground.org