New York's gritty subway has got its sense of poetry back with the return of a popular program to bring verses to commuters.
The Metropolitan Transport Authority, which runs the underground system, announced it was restoring its Poetry in Motion initiative after a hiatus of four years.
The first offering, which appeared in subway cars Tuesday, is "Graduation," by Dorothea Tanning, an American poet who died this year at the age of 101 in New York:
"He told us, with the years, you will come
to love the world.
And we sat there with our souls in our laps,
and comforted them."
Two new poems will be displayed every three months on posters positioned at eye level for seated riders, rather than in the packed advertising strip just above. Verses are accompanied by a picture of an unrelated piece art and they will also appear on the back of about one in 10 MetroCard tickets.
"Since 1992, when it first displayed an excerpt from (Walt) Whitman's 'Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,' MTA's Poetry in Motion program has brought more than 200 poems or excerpts before the eyes of millions of subway riders and rail commuters, offering each a moment of timelessness in the busy day," the authority said.
- Dorothea Tanning