April 12, 2024

On the subway this morning I looked up and saw what I’ve always considered to be one of the few redeeming things about riding the subway:  Poetry in Motion, the joint project of the MTA and the Poetry Society of America.  Each year, they would select a handful of poems and post them in the ad space just above head height on the buses and subway.  Auden, Verlaine, Neruda, Shakespeare, the mix was eclectic, eccentric, and a perfect little respite from the drudgery of mass transit. The project was discontinued back in 2008, so it was a pleasant surprise to see one still hanging – even if  only out of neglect.  I’ve written about Russian poet Vera Pavlova on here before.  I had no idea until this morning that one of my favorite of her poems – “If there is something to desire” – had been featured on the subway as far back as three years ago.

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