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Blog: Poetry On The Underground

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I travel to work on the tube most days and it's not the MOST calming of experiences, but it's made even WORSE when I see one of those bloody awful "poem" posters that are meant to promote Travel Etiquette. They're made by Travel Better London and you can see a selection of them here.

The pictures are perfectly nice and I'm fine with the sentiment, what I object to is the fact that the "poems" DON'T EVEN BLOODY SCAN. This is fine for AVANT GARDE poetry but for these ones it is clear that they are meant to, they just DON'T, and it drives me up the WALL. Even THINKING about them makes me angry. Take this one:

We're all eager to reach our destinations
In crowded platforms and busy trains
Remember to stop at the next station
When feeling dizzy, sick or in pain
Some water, a break or maybe a bandage
Please don't suffer inside the carriage

ARGH! Stop! It's so VERY SLIGHTLY wrong that it hurts MY BRANE! Did nobody try SAYING them out LOUD before putting them on posters? Did they all go "Poetry is a spontaneous outporing of powerful emotion therefore we can't do a second draft"? And bandage/carriage? WHAT THE?!?

You can see LOADS more at their tumblr page but be warned, they are ALL SUBTLY WRONG and will make your MIND EXPLODE with RAGE.

There is, however, ANOTHER set of adverts which use RHYME in a perfectly DELIGHTFUL way. I speak, of course, of the Just Eat adverts which mildly alter the lyrics of popular songs to suggest being excited about having a takeaway e.g. "Man, I feel Like a wonton", "Oh, I wanna dansak somebody" or "Sashimi rollin', they hatin'". What i like about these is that they are SIMPLE and they WORK and, actually, are MILDLY AMUSING. There doesn't even need to be a bit at the bottom to tell you what song they're copying, as they have been done in such a way that you can HEAR them in your head, FITTING the lyrics.

I know none of this is VITAL or IMPORTANT but it is something I feel strongly about!

posted 18/8/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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