London's Piccadilly Lights mark National Poetry Day
Thursday 04 October 2012
London's Piccadilly Lights are being emblazoned with lines of poetry in a first for the world-famous landmark.
I Am The Song, by the late Cornish writer Charles Causley, will be flashed up today on the outdoor site, known for its giant illuminated adverts for Coca-Cola and other brands, to mark National Poetry Day.
Film-makers, digital artists and animators have created designs to showcase the poem, which features lines such as "I am the cloud that drives the storm" and "I am the song that sings the bird".
Today's National Poetry Day, now in its 18th year, is also being marked by the appointment, by the Canal And River Trust and the Poetry Society, of the first "Canal Laureate".
Jo Bell, described as a "boating poet", will be tasked with bringing "a new perspective to the nation's historic canals and rivers".
Boat-dweller Bell, a former Glastonbury Festival poet in residence, will write new verse inspired by the canals and rivers and will begin an "anthologising" of the waterways by bringing in work by other poets.
Bell, who is also an archaeologist, said: "Good poetry is about noticing. I want people who already know the canals to notice how lucky we are to have them.
"For people who haven't really noticed them yet, I want to show them the still green space on their doorstep, full of wildlife and histories."
Arts Council England chair Liz Forgan welcomed the move, saying: "From Constable's Flatford Mill to Ted Hughes's Pike, England's waterways have long provided a rich stimulus for artists working in all art forms."
Designs to show Causley's poem on a section of Piccadilly Lights next to the usual adverts, between 9am and 2pm, were created by young artists following a competition.
In 2002, Yoko Ono paid for "Imagine all the people living life in peace", from the John Lennon song Imagine, to be illuminated for three months on the site.
National Poetry Day founder William Sieghart said: "Poetry is all around us, including in advertising. The Piccadilly Lights are the most famous and eye-catching advertising site in Britain.
"It's wonderful to find that the work of young artists, and poetry in particular, will take its place there for the first time on National Poetry Day.
"Every year this day is all about discovery, finding poetry in your environment, and it's refreshing that among the advertising messages of the Piccadilly Lights passers-by will find Charles Causley's reminder of the power of human expression, a commodity that money can't buy."
:: I Am The Song by Charles Causley
I am the song that sings the bird,
I am the leaf that grows the land,
I am the tide that moves the moon,
I am the stream that halts the sand,
I am the cloud that drives the storm,
I am the earth that lights the sun,
I am the fire that strikes the stone,
I am the clay that shapes the hand,
I am the word that speaks the man.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Student jailed for hacking University of Birmingham computers to improve his grades
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
MasterChef 2015: Simon Wood named winner
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Sherlock series 4: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have to be 'persuaded' to return, says Steven Moffat
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election