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Thoughts on the Underground

I don't have many thoughts on the London Underground, other than "Is this Cockfosters? If so, what's it doing in Shepherd's Bush?" That will all change soon, as an initiave is "rolled out" on the Piccadilly Line. From the BBC:

Transport for London has commissioned Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller to compile a list of bon mots to be used by Tube drivers.

Among the quotes on offer will be Gandhi's, "there is more to life than increasing its speed".

Deller hopes they will make commuters' journeys a bit more thought provoking.

Cezanne's, "we live in a rainbow of chaos" and Jean-Paul Sartre's, "hell is other people" will also be recited by Tube drivers.

Perhaps the trains will join in, as they struggle up London's subterranean slopes: "I think I am, I think I am." The Times has some suggestions:

Through me lies the way to the Ninth Circle Line: through me the way to eternal grief: Abandon all hope, you who enter the Underground: Dante.”

“Escalator work is taking place at Bank ...

Facilis descensus Averno: but to make your way out again to the upper air, that's the sweat: Virgil.”

“This train will not stop at Archway ...

Hell is other people: Jean-Paul Sartre.”

“This is the Mornington Crescent train ...

There is more to life than increasing its speed: Mahatma Gandhi.”

“Ickenham, Hillingdon, UXBRIDGE ...

To travel hopefully is better than to arrive: Robert Louis Stevenson.”

“Move right down the train ...

Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing can ever be made: Kant”

Incidentally, just days after I complained that I hadn’t seen any Poems on the Underground lately, low and behold there was Wordsworth Upon Westminster Bridge:

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear

The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

It was evening, and I was heading for Embankment, which is not quite Westminster, but I enjoyed his company.

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