Title: Poems on the Underground
Author: Gerard Benson, Judith Chernaik and Cicely Herbert
Page Count/Review Word Count: 272
If you’ve spent any time in London then you probably already know about the project that this book was born from. As you travel around on the tube, you see a number of different posters that contain poems on them, from old classics to contemporary pieces by unknown or up-and-coming poets.
This book, then, collects some of the best pieces that were featured over the years, and whilst the book itself is a little bit outdated, the kind of poetry that it features is the kind of stuff that never ages.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this collection is culturally significant, more so than most anthologies that you’ll find on the market. And then there’s the fact that the poems here span all sorts of subjects and genres, as well as several hundred years of work. I loved it.
In some ways, it was like being back at school, because the book introduces you to the work of a whole heap of notable poets – like Shakespeare, Shelley, Seamus Heaney and Maya Angelou – that you might not come across otherwise. But it doesn’t have the residual boredom of a lesson that you don’t want to be in, and the fact that each of the poems are short means that it’s easy to pick it up, read a couple and put it back down.
I even earmarked a couple of the poems for me to memorise, so it must be good.