Finding India in Unexpected Places        A street in Bath,                  Memories distort geography.                a ...
I Sing of Change             I sing                    Of earth                            Of deserts treeing             ...
Baku at NightReaching down to the starless heavy sea          High above on a hill,in the pitch-black night,              ...
Toussaint L’Ouverture AcknowledgesWordsworth’s Sonnet ‘To Toussaint L’Ouverture’I have never walked on Westminster Bridge ...
Carving                  Others can carve out               Eternity is this.                  their space                ...
Boy with Orange)A boy holding an orange in his hands                          (out of Kosovo)Has crossed the border in unc...
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February 2012 - Poems on the Underground

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The first set of ‘World Poems on the Underground’ in 2012 features poets born in India, Turkey, Germany, Pakistan, Guyana and Nigeria - although their lives took them to places far removed from their countries of origin. The poems:

• ‘Finding India in Unexpected Places’ by Sujata Bhatt from Pure Lizard (Carcanet 2008)

• ‘I Sing of Change’ by Niyi Osundare from Selected Poems (1992)

• ‘Baku at Night’ by Nazim Hikmet from Poems of Nazim Hikmet, translated from the Turkish by Randy Blasing & Mutlu Konuk (Persea Books 2002)

• ‘Toussaint L’Ouverture Acknowledges Wordsworth’s Sonnet To Toussaint L’Ouverture’ by John Agard from Alternative Anthems: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe 2009)

• ‘Carving’ by Imtiaz Dharker from The terrorist at my table ( Bloodaxe 2006)

• ‘Boy with Orange (out of Kosovo)’ by Lotte Kramer from New & Collected Poems (Rockingham Press 2011).

Poems on the Underground is supported by TfL, Arts Council England and the British Council and London 2012 Festival. Poems are selected by writer Judith Chernaik and poets Cicely Herbert and Gerard Benson (poet laureate of Bradford).

Published in: Education, Travel, Business
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Transcript of "February 2012 - Poems on the Underground "

  1. 1. Finding India in Unexpected Places A street in Bath, Memories distort geography. a bus in Medellín, a gesture in Gyeongju – But how did the Mayas learn about elephants, A yellow fragrance in Oaxaca, about Ganesh, and the precise shape Oleanders of his ears? on the isle of Skopelos – Sujata Bhatt Born in India Reprinted by permission of Carcanet from Pure Lizard (2008)MAYOR OF LONDON tfl.gov.uk/poems Transport for London
  2. 2. I Sing of Change I sing Of earth Of deserts treeing of the beauty of Athens with no sharp north and fruiting without its slaves or deep south after the quickening rains without blind curtains Of a world free or iron walls Of the sun radiating ignorance of kings and queens and stars informing and other remnants Of the end nights of unknowing of an arbitrary past of warlords and armouries and prisons of hate and fear I sing of a world reshaped Niyi Osundare Born in Nigeria Reprinted by permission of the author from Selected Poems (1992)MAYOR OF LONDON tfl.gov.uk/poems Transport for London
  3. 3. Baku at NightReaching down to the starless heavy sea High above on a hill,in the pitch-black night, my heart goes out like a raftBaku is a sunny wheatfield. into the endless absence,High above on a hill, beyond memorygrains of light hit my face by the handfuls, down to the starless heavy seaand the music in the air flows like the Bosporus. in the pitch dark. Nazim Hikmet Born in Turkey Translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk Reprinted by permission of Persea Books from Poems of Nazim Hikmet, translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk 2002MAYOR OF LONDON tfl.gov.uk/poems Transport for London
  4. 4. Toussaint L’Ouverture AcknowledgesWordsworth’s Sonnet ‘To Toussaint L’Ouverture’I have never walked on Westminster Bridge My tongue bridges Europe to Dahomey.or had a close-up view of daffodils. Yet how sweet is the smell of libertyMy childhood’s roots are the Haitian hills when human beings share a common garment.where runaway slaves made a freedom pledge So, thanks brother, for your sonnet’s tribute.and scarlet poincianas flaunt their scent. May it resound when the Thames’ text stays mute.I have never walked on Westminster Bridge And what better ground than a city’s bridgeor speak, like you, with Cumbrian accent. for my unchained ghost to trumpet love’s decree. John Agard Born in Guyana Reprinted by permission of Bloodaxe from Alternative Anthems: Selected Poems (2009)MAYOR OF LONDON tfl.gov.uk/poems Transport for London
  5. 5. Carving Others can carve out Eternity is this. their space Your breath on the window-pane, in tombs and pyramids. living walls with shining eyes. Our time cannot be trapped The surprise of spires, in cages. uncompromising verticals. Knowing Nor hope, nor laughter. we have been spared We let the moment rise to lift our faces up like birds and planes and angels for one more day, to the sky. into one more sunrise. Imtiaz Dharker Born in Pakistan Reprinted by permission of Bloodaxe from The terrorist at my table (2006)MAYOR OF LONDON tfl.gov.uk/poems Transport for London
  6. 6. Boy with Orange)A boy holding an orange in his hands (out of Kosovo)Has crossed the border in uncertainty.He stands there, stares with marble eyes at scenes No one shall take away. He cannot smile.Too desolate for him to comprehend. Behind him are the stones of babyhood.Now, in this globe he’s clutching something safe, Soon he will find a hand, perhaps, to hold,A round assurance and a promised joy Or a kind face, some comfort for a while. Lotte Kramer Born in Germany Reprinted by permission of Rockingham from New & Collected Poems (2011)MAYOR OF LONDON tfl.gov.uk/poems Transport for London

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