Poetry on the Paris métro

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“We wish you a 2011 full of poetry” is the message greeting travellers on the Paris metro, buses and trains. Brightly-coloured posters with a few lines from well-known poets add cheer to dispel the winter gloom in the French capital.

Prévert, Aragon, Sabatier and our own William Blake have snatches of their work displayed on brightly-coloured posters designed to cheer up les Parisiens until 22nd January.

Unlike the popular “Poems on the Underground” this initiative does not display whole poems. I suppose the difference is that travellers on the creaking London tube had time to read whole poems, whereas the more efficient French system allows only the briefest of stops for poetic appreciation.

And it's all somewhat less exciting than John Togher's work at Wigan Wallgate station, where whole poems appear on the waiting room windows.

An example of the Paris posters...

Puisque les lendemains

sont toujours remis au lendemain,

inventons un aujord’hui qui chante


Robert Sabatier

Le livre de le dérision souriante

© Albin Michel


My translation

Since our tomorrows

are always put back until tomorrow,

let’s invent a today that sings.


Bonne année!

◄ Ledbury Poetry Competition

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