El Romance de Agüimes by Joaquin Artiles
On Saturday night I heard a radio programme about Landscape Poetics (this link is live for 28 days as I type; it may or may not work outside the UK) in which Lemn Sissay and guests including Simon Armitage and Jo Bell discussed the increasing prevalence of poetry in public spaces. From Transport for London’s Poems on the Underground initiative which was launched in 1986, to the Locklines project on England’s canal system, from Simon Armitage’s Stanza Stones poems to the back of buses (no really, I saw a rhyming couplet on the back of a bus just yesterday morning while I was driving; I think it was advertising a legal firm, but I’m not sure), it seems that poems are being published everywhere.
And it’s not just in the UK either. I took the photo above in the small town of Agüimes while on holiday in Gran Canaria in 2014. Now, with the best will in the world, whilst it is a pleasant town, Agüimes is hardly likely to feature on many tourists’ holiday itineraries, which means that most people who visit Gran Canaria have no idea about this poem or the others that feature across the town. (I can’t even remember why we decided to go there, although I do remember a very good lunch at a cafe in one of the town’s squares.)
Here at dVerse we have a community spread literally across the whole world, which means that we could draw attention to public poetry installations near us that other members of our community might never get to see. So let me ask, is there poetry in public spaces in the town or city where you live? Or have you stumbled across a poem, or even a line from a poem, somewhere where you would never have expected to find it? Please use the comments to tell us about public poetry where you live/work/have been on holiday – especially if you can direct us to a picture of the work for us to enjoy … smiles.
Thanks for joining in,