Underground Poetry Slam

If you’ve done any Underground travelling in London recently then you will have been confronted by the bafflingly terrible TfL posters which urge you to adopt proper Tube etiquette through the medium of poetry.

In the off chance you’ve been spared such an encounter, here is a particular favourite of mine:

It’s tempting to obstruct the doors
Until you know what this can cause
It doesn’t just delay the train,
But can cause damage, hurt and pain.

Insipid rhymes such as these are now displayed on the same tube carriages which in previous years did so much for literary education with the fantastic ‘poetry on the underground’ campaign. TfL really seem to be missing a trick on this one.
Have you never wondered how the great poets of history would have responded to such a commission? Coleridge writing on smelly foods in cramped carriages, for instance, Kipling on overhearing loud mobile phone conversations, or Byron on not obstructing the doors?If so, then wonder no longer:

Barrett Browning

Blake Byron Coleridge Herrick Kipling Shakespeare Shelley Tennyson Thomas

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