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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Simon Armitage's Circle Line Poem

How spooky is this?

Through
Transport for London's website I discovered that a new Platform for Art Exhibition will be launched in September about The Circle Line. "The locations, history and architecture of the 27 stations of the Circle line have inspired 27 stories; from the roof garden at High Street Kensington to the homeliness of Mansion House; from the cosmopolitan diversity of Bayswater and Edgware Road to the literary icons of Great Portland Street."

Also discovered that on the back of this, a book will be published "From Here to Here - Stories inspired by London's Circle Line" - "The 31 chapters of this book, each by a different writer, explore the territory around the Circle Line's stations and the network that connects them. Through fiction, poetry, memoir and reportage, they bring to life the extraordinary spirit of this complex, demanding, inspiring city." The project has been dedicated to London and the victims of the 7/7 attacks.

From Here to Here - Stories inspired by London's Circle LineBearing in mind that everything in this book was written before the attacks on the Circle Line. One of poems in the book KX by Simon Armitage is a chilling pre-cursor to the bombings. Here's an extract:

"Northerner, this is your stop. This longhouse
of echoing echoes and sooted glass,
this goth pigeon hangar, this diesel roost
is the end of the line.........

..................................primed
for that point in time when the world goes bust,
when the unattended holdall or case
unloads its cache of fanaticized heat.

Here's you after the fact, found by torchlight,
being-less, heaped, boned of all thought and sense.

.................Here's you on the News,
shirtless, minus a limb, exiting smoke
to a backdrop of red melt, onto streets
paved with gilt, begging a junkie for help
."

I spose it's not too spooky really, as I think we've all known in the back of minds that the London Underground was a likely target in a bombing attack. Obviously some people can express these thoughts more eloquently and creatively than most of us.


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