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Poems on the Underground [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Gerard Benson , Cicely Herbert , Judith Chernaik
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

"Poetry arrived/ in search of me" --Pablo Neruda

Launched in 1986 and now an established part of every London tube-traveller's experience, the Poems On The Underground project has proved a hugely successful attempt to introduce poetry into the city's public spaces and has since been taken up by many of the world's major cities as well as many smaller ones. Serendipitous and surprising, the encounter with poetry in the urban environment is often enlivening and provocative--a tribute to the enthusiasm of the editors.

This new edition, twice as long as its predecessor, is partly organised around the current programme "1,000 years of English Poetry" but also contains poems "exchanged" with those chosen in other countries; the book thus contains an enormous range of verse from around the world and from past to present day, finding a place for the witty and the profound alike, for light verse as well as the serious or gnomic, for the popular and the more obscure. Some poets are represented by their most well-known pieces--Shelley's Ozymandias, Auden's Song (made famous by its inclusion in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral)--others by less familiar but no less potent poems. The current project also exhumes wonderful examples of early and middle English verse, an indication of the long and vital tradition of British poetry. Hopefully, future editions will find room for more poems in translation and more modern American verse (surely the most vital space for modern poetry in English).

The almost haphazard nature of the selection--based on the principles of pleasure rather than dogma--result in a generous and happily democratic collection that is, paradoxically, a far stronger and more persuasive argument for the ongoing vitality of poetry than many more argumentative anthologies. The chance encounter with an affecting poem or unfamiliar poet is ample reason to invest in this book--where else would one find Elizabeth Barrett Browning, John Betjeman, Paul Celan, Spike Milligan, Emily Dickinson and Guillaume Apollinaire sharing space together? Last words to Christopher Logue: "Last night in London Airport / I saw a wooden bin/ labelled UNWANTED LITERATURE / IS TO BE PLACED HEREIN./ So I wrote a poem/ and popped it in." No longer so unwanted, thanks to this book. --Burhan Tufail --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Now re-issued as a CD, you can enjoy the sublime verse and the thoughts of the world's greatest poets on London, love and other crucial subjects on your Walkman or iPod. (Lou Wakefield Waterstone's Books Quarterly)

A collection of classic and contemporary poems, some read by the authors, to engage you from station to station. (SAGA)

For those of us with occasional Attention Deficit Disorder, here are 79 poems classic and modern, read by the writers, and most lasting under a minute. (SAGA)

Book Description

This is a reissue in CD format of the tape published in 1995 which includes 72 poems read by the compilers, and nine other poets reading their own and other poems. The content is taken from the fourth print edition of Poems on the Underground published in 1995.

About the Author

Three compilers who alone determine the selection of poems: Judith Chernaik: American academic and from Brooklyn, now a London resident. Gerard Benson: widely published professional poet, gives regular poetry performances, an original Barrow Poet, lives in Bradford. Cicely Herbert: widely published, London resident, also a Barrow Poet.
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