The Way We Gothe way we go about our lives                       standing at a gate or attic windowtrying out each empty r...
For the War Dead                  Here dead lie we because we did not choose                   To live and shame the land ...
Sweet Thames                    I met my girl at Woolwich Pier, beneath a big crane standing,                             ...
If a boy must wonder,                            If a boy must wonder         let him recall         not the lightning gra...
First Contact                                             I balanced my new life on the ball of my finger,                 ...
Whalesong                  I boom-mumble I bass-blow            I gulf-cross I listen-talk                  I hull-heavy I...
I met my girl at Woolwich Pier, beneath a big crane standing,                                And, Oh, the love I felt for ...
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Autumn 2010 - Poems on the Underground

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The set poems are:

Sweet Thames Flow Softly was written by the singer-songwriter Ewan MacColl. It's part of a special display of Story of London 2010.

For the War Dead is by A.E Housman's lament for the carnage of World War I.

The Way We Go from a debut collection by Katherine Towers, The Floating Man (Picador 2010), shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

Poems included this year were the winners of the 'Young Poets' competition. This is where youths and teenagers were asked to submit poems on the theme of science to celebrate 350 years of The Royal Society. The winners are: If a boy must wonder written by Leon Yuchin Lau, Whalesong by Sophie Stephenson-Wright and First Contact by Hattie Grunewald.

This spring, we invited our youth members and the teenage alumni of our Foyle Young Poets Award and SLAMbassadors UK championship to submit poems for publication as part of the Poems on the Underground scheme.

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Autumn 2010 - Poems on the Underground

  1. 1. The Way We Gothe way we go about our lives standing at a gate or attic windowtrying out each empty room seeing beauty in a flag of skylike houses we might own we’re gone, leaving the doors openeavesdropping for clues in corridors until all the lights burning Katherine Towers (b. 1961) tfl.gov.uk/poems Reprinted by permission of Pan Macmillan from The Floating Man (Picador 2010)MAYOR OF LONDON Transport for London
  2. 2. For the War Dead Here dead lie we because we did not choose To live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose; But young men think it is, and we were young. A.E Housman (1859-1936) tfl.gov.uk/poemsMAYOR OF LONDON Transport for London
  3. 3. Sweet Thames I met my girl at Woolwich Pier, beneath a big crane standing, And, Oh, the love I felt for her it passed all understanding. Flow Softly Took her sailing on the river, flow, sweet river, flow, London Town was mine to give her, sweet Thames flow softly. Ewan MacColl (1915-1989) Made the Thames into a crown, flow, sweet river, flow, Made a brooch of Silvertown, sweet Thames flow softly… Now, alas, the tide has changed, my love she has gone from me, And winter’s frost has touched my heart and put a blight upon me. Creeping fog is on the river, flow, sweet river, flow, Sun and moon and stars gone with her, sweet Thames flow softly. Swift the Thames runs to the sea, flow, sweet river, flow, Bearing ships and part of me, sweet Thames flow softly. tfl.gov.uk/poems Reprinted by permission of Harmony Music Limited, LondonMAYOR OF LONDON Transport for London
  4. 4. If a boy must wonder, If a boy must wonder let him recall not the lightning grace of falcons, the dizzying aeronautics, Darwin’s finch, the voyage of the ancients who saw farther, whose charts and sails and bubbly telescopic minds brought ashore hope but how to lift even a rogue dream of stars a charioting god to the moon, once birthed the possibility of flight. Leon Yuchin Lau tfl.gov.uk/poemsMAYOR OF LONDON Transport for London
  5. 5. First Contact I balanced my new life on the ball of my finger, its translucent rim and pooled blue rainbows, I said “This will make me pretty.” My spectacles rolled their lensesThe day the optician unframed my face and dozed in the bottom of my bedside drawer.and took away my childhood:I would no longer hide behind glass; The first day I wore contact lenses,I would wear eyeliner and wink my eyes glittered. But no one noticed,at boys with smiles and piles of maths textbooks. looking right through me with their 20/20 eyes. Hattie Grunewald tfl.gov.uk/poemsMAYOR OF LONDON Transport for London
  6. 6. Whalesong I boom-mumble I bass-blow I gulf-cross I listen-talk I hull-heavy I big/slow I moon-map I wave-walk I boat-bump I limpet-skin I tail-turn I time-keep I soft-sink I sky-swim I ship-wreck I song-seek I sea-search I salt-swallow I blue-blood I grumble-sing I bone-backed I fluke-follow I fish-heart I dream king Sophie Stephenson-Wright tfl.gov.uk/poemsMAYOR OF LONDON Transport for London
  7. 7. I met my girl at Woolwich Pier, beneath a big crane standing, And, Oh, the love I felt for her it passed all understanding. Took her sailing on the river, flow, sweet river, flow,Sweet Thames London Town was mine to give her, sweet Thames flow softly. Flow Softly Made the Thames into a crown, flow, sweet river, flow, Made a brooch of Silvertown, sweet Thames flow softly… Ewan MacColl (1915-1989) Now, alas, the tide has changed, my love she has gone from me, And winter’s frost has touched my heart and put a blight upon me. Creeping fog is on the river, flow, sweet river, flow, Sun and moon and stars gone with her, sweet Thames flow softly. Swift the Thames runs to the sea, flow, sweet river, flow, Bearing ships and part of me, sweet Thames flow softly. tfl.gov.uk/poems Reprinted by permission of Harmony Music Limited, LondonMAYOR OF LONDON Transport for London

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