From The Mayor of London: Poems on the Underground

The English language, a remarkable confluence if Romance and Teutonic streams, is uniquely rich in poetic possibilities. Throughout the centuries, when this artform has drawn its inspiration from our capital city the results have been ectraordinary.

In this special booklet of London-inspired poetry, compiled to celebrate the Story of London 2009, we are offered private glimpses of a world in which courtiers and cricketers, dreamers and lovers, rich and poor, have jostled side by side as common travelers.

From William Dunbar’s ode “To the City of London’, composed in 1501 for the Lord Mayor’s Christmas dinner, to the found poetry of market cries, church bells and children’s games. From the fields of Islington and Hackney Marches to St Paul’s, Holborn and Bishopgate. All find their places here in the city that has forever acted as a home for poets, publishers, writers and readers.

I hope that these poems inspire you, and help you view the city from new perspectives as we come together this June to celebrate the capital’s diverse and endlessly fascinating story.

~ Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

London, 2009

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