in the street of the sky night walks scattering poems
April 5, 2009 7:58 PM Subscribe
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (15 comments total)
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Should you find yourself wandering around the city of Leiden, the Netherlands sometime, you may notice some curious markings
on the city's walls.
("Wall Poems") adorn many of the town's streets (clickable map)
, and many English-language poets are represented: one John Keats
, for instance, inside a bookshop; Dylan Thomas
, E. E. Cummings
, W.B. Yeats
, some guy called William Shakespeare
, or this ode to Charlie Parker
by American William Waring Cuney
But poets of many other languages and nationalities can be found throughout the city. Just to name a few: Charles Baudelaire
(French), Jorge Luis Borges
(Spanish - Argentina), Herman Gorter
And being native to this here neck of the woods I would be remiss if I were to neglect mentioning some of my favourites: apart from the Cummings one mentioned above, my hero of Dutch poetry J.C. Bloem
's appropriately overgrown tribute
to Paul Verlaine
; and Guillaume Apollinaire's Dadaist/Surrealist "Loin du Pigeonnier
" ("Far From the Dovecote").
collects manifestations of public poetry found elsewhere under its "Not in Leiden
" heading. I couldn't resist a selection:
Humorous medical one in Brazil (Portuguese).
Martin Carter (Netherlands Antilles, English)
Excerpt from JFK's inaugural address (Boston, English)
Childrens Rights (Zanzibar, English)
Policemans Prayer (Virginia, US, English)
Short, brilliantly framed Byron quote (Utrecht, NL, English)
No man is illegal (Sittard, NL, Dutch)
I am a poet. Should I want the rose to bloom, the rose will bloom. (Vlaardigen, NL, Dutch)
You'll Think, What's That Poet Doing (Monnickendam, NL, Dutch)
You'll think, what's that poet doing
In our alley
On our wall
In our town
When he's not from 'round here.
To be frank: so do I.
But still, now you're looking at me.
I can talk to you, say
That I am happy you're looking at me
And then you might for instance say "likewise".
We wouldn't have done so otherwise.