As regular readers know, Yeats has taken over this blog a bit this year (#Yeats2015), with my novel about his relationship with Maud Gonne launching in the summer and various fun and frolics happening here in London and in Ireland.

I was thrilled to hear from Judith Cherniak that Poems on the Underground will be celebrating#Yeats2015 all year too.

Their first set of poems for March 2015 features:

  • the final stanza of ‘Sailing to Byzantium’, Yeats’ tribute to the timeless power of imagination;
  • and the popular love poem, ‘He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’.

Also featuring:

  • a translation of Antoine O Raifteiri’s Irish verses by Lady Gregory, Yeats’s longtime friend and close literary associate
  • Louis MacNeice’s epigraph to Holes in the Sky (1944);
  • and poems by two of my favourite contemporary Irish poets, Eavan Boland and Paula Meehan.
  • A leaflet celebrating Irish poetry including these poems and poems by Seamus Heaney and Patrick Kavanagh will also be made available, free to all, at selected tube stations later this year.

The poems will be displayed in London Tube trains from March 2nd.

Poems on the Underground will also be celebrating the paperback publication of their anthology Poems on the Underground on 26th March 2015.

This collection includes poems by Yeats and many other Irish poets, including Patrick Kavanagh, Oscar Wilde, Louis MacNeice, Seamus Heaney, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Michael Longley, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill and Paul Muldoon.

Posters, designed by Tom Davidson, are available from the Poetry Society and London Transport Museum.  

The poems:  

W.B. Yeats, ‘Sailing to Byzantium’; ‘He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’

 Lady Augusta Gregory, Mise Raifteiri an File / I am Raftery the Poet (from the Irish of Antoine O Raifteiri), first published in Poets and dreamers (Dublin 1903)

 Louis MacNeice,‘What is truth?’ from Collected Poems (Faber 1979) 

 Eavan Boland, ‘Legends’ from Collected Poems (Carcanet 1995)

 Paula Meehan, ‘Not Weeding’ from Painting Rain (Carcanet 2009)

Forthcoming POM events for those of you in London: 

Wednesday 15th April, 6pm-8pm at the Embassy of Ireland, 17 Grosvenor Place, SW1X 7HR
Launch of Poems on the Underground paperback (Penguin) and celebration of Yeats2015, with guest poets. (By invitation).

Thursday April 23, Keats House,  Keats Grove, NW3 7pm
Tickets £8 including complimentary drink from keatsevents.eventbrite.co.uk
or in person from Keats Community Library
‘Words for Music Perhaps’, celebrating Yeats2015 and Shakespeare’s birthday, with Shaun Traynor, Imtiaz Dharker and George Szirtes

Tuesday May 5th, Keats House, 7pm Tickets £8 including complimentary drink from keatsevents.eventbrite.co.uk or in person from Keats Community Library: ‘Yeats and Margot’  by Cicely Herbert, with Timothy West as W.B.Yeats and Victoria Ross as Margot Ruddock