Poems on the Underground

The Poetry Society and Poems on the Underground join forces to promote one of Britain’s most successful public art projects. As well as being displayed on underground trains throughout the capital, school members of The Poetry Society receive a set of Poems on the Underground posters every year.

Poems are selected by Judith Chernaik, Imtiaz Dharker, and George Szirtes. The posters are designed by Tom Davidson, and the project is generously supported by London Underground (TfL), Arts Council England and the British Council.

Individual posters, or sets of posters, are available through The Poetry Society shop: we ask for £3.50 for an individual poster or £9.99 for a set in order to cover the storage, handling, UK postage and packing costs. If you live overseas, the charge will increase in order to cover additional postage costs.  You can also find posters at the London Transport Museum.

Poems on the Underground (Penguin 2015) is available in paperback from all good bookshops.

Poems on the Underground (Set 102) for Summer 2019

A new set of five poems goes live on London tubes on 1 July 2019 for four weeks. The poems all explore the relationship between human beings and the natural world. Some deal specifically with the urgent issue of climate change. Others reflect more generally on the ways in which human beings take solace and meaning from their living world of earth, sea and sky.

The poems 

Still Life with Sea Pinks and High Tide by Maura Dooley

‘Our melting, shifting, liquid world won’t wait / for manifesto or mandate…’ 

The Meaning of Existence by the late Australian poet Les Murray

“Everything except language / knows the meaning of existence. / Trees, planets, rivers, time / know nothing else…”

I Am the Song by Charles Causley

‘I am the song that sings the bird. / I am the leaf that grows the land. …I am the clay that shapes the hand. / I am the word that speaks the man.’

The shaft by Helen Dunmore

‘Who would have thought that pain / And weakness had such gifts / Hidden in their rough hearts?’

My life closed twice before its close’ by Emily Dickinson

To the reader who suspects that the ‘events’ mentioned refer to abortive love affairs, the poem may not seem quite so gnomic.

Poems on the Underground is supported by Transport for London, The British Council and Arts Council England.  Poems are selected by the writer Judith Chernaik and poets Imtiaz Dharker and George Szirtes.

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