It's National Poetry Month, I heard today, so tonight I pulled out my favorite book of poetry -- Poems on the Underground. It's a collection of poems that were posted on trains in the London subway system the year I studied in England. Here's one:

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.
--Sheenagh Pugh


Spring and Fall
to a young child
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born fo,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
--Gerard Manley Hopkins


Karen said...

I really like the first one. It is very optimistic!

aimee said...

I liked the first one a lot. The second one was good too. These were written on the subway walls? Wow.

Krista said...

Mom -- I just realized how diametrically opposed in theme these two poems were. Things will be great! And, everyone dies!

Aimee, they were mounted on posters inside the subway cars. Like advertisements. It was a program sponsored by the government, I think.

Chris said...

All the poems I've ever seen in a subway or bathroom wall have been...ahem...vastly different. I'll leave it at that.