London's Piccadilly Lights mark National Poetry Day

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

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.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam