The move continues a long tradition of displaying poetry on London's subway system. Indeed, 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the popular project.
The Polish accent chimes in with another anniversary, the centenary of the late Nobel Prize laureate Czeslaw Milosz.
“We hope that Londoners and visitors alike will enjoy this latest collection of poems which celebrate one of the greatest Polish poets of our time,” says Judith Chernaik, the founder of the Poems on the Underground project.
Milosz's “Blacksmith Shop” has been chosen as one of the poems that will take part in the project. However, the programme will also be presenting works by two other Polish poets who were championed by the Nobel winner.
Zbigniew Herbert's “Nothing Special” and Adam Zagajewski's “Star” will be amongst the poems complementing Milosz's verses.
By coincidence, all three poets were born in Poland's former eastern borderlands, Milosz in Wilno (now Vilnius, capital of Lithuania), and Herbert and Zagajewski in Lwow (now Lviv, western Ukraine).
The poets already enjoy considerable acclaim in the West, and Zagajewski, the only surviving member of the trio, continues to publish verses.
The current initiative will now bring their works to an even wider audience
Judith Chernaik, who founded the Poems on the Underground series twenty-five years ago, is looking forward to setting the Polish verses in motion.
“We hope that Londoners and visitors alike will enjoy this latest collection of poems which celebrate one of the greatest Polish poets of our time,” she said. (nh/pg)
Audio by Agnieszka Bielawska
Blacksmith Shop by Czeslaw Milosz
I liked the bellows operated by rope. A hand or a foot pedal - I don’t remember. But that blowing and blazing of fire! And a piece of iron in the fire, held there by tongs, Red, softened, ready for the anvil, Beaten with a hammer, bent into a horseshoe, Thrown in a bucket of water, sizzle, steam.
And horses hitched to be shod, Tossing their manes; and in the grass by the river Plowshares, sledge runners, harrows waiting for repair.
At the entrance, my bare feet on the dirt floor, Here, gusts of heat; at my back, white clouds, I stare and stare. It seems I was called for this: To glorify things just because they are.
(Translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan)