Episode 1 Poetry on Transit

A history of poetry on public transportation subways, buses, and bus stops. We go from the twinkle of an idea to a growing movement to a cultural evolution.
Poetry on Transit is a story that starts with American moxie, in combination with quality British public transportation and literature. Poetry on transit begins with a native Brooklynite, who was living in London and sitting around a table with a group of friends. The idea was embraced by the London Underground and soon spread in Europe and across the US, with drama along the way. Poetry on transit has lasted and it has evolved, with greater awareness of diversity in culture and languages, and service to the transit riders who read the lines of poetry as they travel to work, school, or wherever they go, wherever they live. 

Sources for more information:
Please note that the newspaper articles are available for free through many public library systems. They are not all available otherwise on the Internet.
Reciting of poetry during the episode: At the end of the show notes for this episode is an explanation of the legal fair use of the poetry mentioned and recited during the episode. Some of the poems included in the episode are not subject to copyright law due to age of the poem and the number of years since the poet’s death. Some poems are reprinted with permission. “Reprinted with permission” is noted wherever applicable. There were also inquiries with no response.
·      EPA report – “Environmental Equity: Reducing Risk for All Communities” (volume 1 and volume 2)
Poetry on Transit
What is poetry on transit?
London Poems on the Underground
·      Steven Prokesch, London Journal; For the Straphangers, Poetry Sweetens the Ride, NYTimes (Jan. 9, 1992)
·      Poems on the Underground Facebook page
New York and Poetry in Motion
·      General information and history of the program – https://poetrysociety.org/poetry-in-motion 
·      Poetry exchange between New York’s MTA and the London Underground in 1994 – Judith Chernaik, O Brooklyn Local, NYTimes (May 14, 1994)
·      2008 end of poetry in motion and its resurgence – 
o   Robin Pogrebin, MTA Derails Poetry, NYTimes (Apr. 30, 2008); 
o   Adam Sternbergh, Because We Fight Over Poetry; Literature provides commuter inspiration, Vox Media, LLC (Dec. 21, 2009); 
o   Michael Grynbaum, In the City's Subway, Literary Placards Will Soon Be Mere Echoes in the Memory, NYTimes (Dec. 21, 2010); 
o   Clyde Haberman, A Second Act for Poetry in the Subways, NYTimes (Mar. 28, 2012)
·      Poetry in Motion history and coming through Covid – Colin Moynihan, For the Subway, All the Right Lines, NYTimes (May 4, 2020)
Evolving iterations of poetry on transit
·      Indianapolis – Poetry taking the bus, Indianapolis Business Journal, vol. 27, no. 18, 10 p. 13 (July 10, 2006)
·      Pittsburgh, which still has a poetry in transit program, adorned the exterior of buses with poetry – Elwin Green, New Port Authority buses become poetry in motion, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Jan. 24, 2006)
·      New Jersey high school poetry project – Douglas Goetsch, Poetry stand: how a precocious group of high school poets learned to provide verse on demand, American Scholar, vol. 76, 4 (Autumn 2007)
King County, WA, including Seattle and surrounding area –
Poetry read during the episode 
·      Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman – https://poetrysociety.org/poems/crossing-brooklyn-ferry 
·      Let There Be New Flowering by Lucille Clifton, from good woman: poems and a memoir 1969-1980 by Lucille Clifton. Copyright © 1987. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd – https://poetrysociety.org/poetry-in-motion/let-there-be-new-flowering  
·      Thanks Forever by Milton Kessler, from The Grand Concourse by Milton Kessler. Copyright © 1990; published by the State University of New York at Binghamton –  https://poemsontheunderground.org/thanks-forever 
·      Western Wind (unknown author) – https://poemsontheunderground.org/western-wind  
·      Separation by W.S. Merwin, from The Second Four Books of Poems by W.S. Merwin, published by Copper Canyon Press. Copyright © 1993. Reprinted with the permission of the Wylie Agency LLC – https://merwinconservancy.org/2015/02/poem-of-the-week-separation-2/ 
·      Root/Route by Michelle Penaloza – https://poetryonbuses.org/poems2017/michelle-penaloza/?indv=y. Information about the poetry of Michelle Penaloza is available at http://www.michellepenaloza.com/
Poems and excerpts of poems read during the episode

Let there be new flowering by Lucille Clifton
let there be new flowering
 in the fields let the fields
 turn mellow for the men
 let the men keep tender
 through the time let the time
 be wrested from the war
 let the war be won
 let love be
 at the end
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman (excerpts)
Flood-tide below me! I see you face to face!
Clouds of the west—sun there half an hour high—I see you also face to face.
Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious you are to me!
On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose,
And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.
…         …         …
Others will enter the gates of the ferry and cross from shore to shore,
Others will watch the run of the flood-tide,
Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the heights of Brooklyn to the south and east,
Others will see the islands large and small;
Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half an hour high,
A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others will see them,
Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring-in of the flood-tide, the falling-back to the sea of the ebb-tide.
Western Wind by unknown 
Westron wynde when wyll thow blow
the smalle rayne downe can Rayne
Cryst yf my love were in my Armys
And I yn my bed Agayne.
Thanks Forever by Milton Kessler
Look at those empty ships
floating north
between south-running ice
like big tulips
into the Narrows
under the Verrazano
toward the city harbor.
I’m parked here
out of work all year.
No hurry now
and sleep badly.
But I’m self-employed.
My new job’s
to wave them in.
Hello freighter,
hello tanker.
Welcome, welcome,
to New York.
Root/Route by Michelle Penaloza 
Water, the first and only route,
And so, our roots and namings –  
tau, people of the current; taga-ilog,
river folk; maynila, place of water
lilies – no surprise that my mother
landed in a cold hand surrounded
by lakes eerie and superior. No surprise
I found my way to the sound.
Unless otherwise noted, general information about the poets was gleaned through Google searches and from Wikipedia.

Fair Use doctrine and poetry mentioned and recited during the episode
As this podcast episode includes reciting poems in whole or in part, the doctrine of fair use in copyright right law is being invoked. As a podcast is part spoken recitation and, with written show notes, part publication, guidelines for both written and spoken uses are being followed. 
According to the Center for Media & Social Impact, Code of Practices for Fair Use of Poetry (2011) (hereinafter referred to as the “Code”), poetry may be written in a blog or other according to the following principle:
Under fair use, an online resource (such as a blog or web site) may make examples of selected published poetry electronically available to the public, provided that the site also includes substantial additional cultural resources, including but not limited to critique or commentary, that contextualize or otherwise add value to the selections.
According to the Code, for criticism, comment or illustration (in contrast to a poetry reading performance):
Under fair use, a critic discussing a published poem or body of poetry may quote freely as justified by the critical purpose; likewise, a commentator may quote to exemplify or illuminate a cultural/historical phenomenon, and a visual artist may incorporate relevant quotations into his or her work.
It is the opinion of the producer of this podcast that the episode both includes (1) “substantial additional cultural resources, including but not limited to critique or commentary, that contextualize or otherwise add value to the selections” and (2) “exemplif[ies] or illuminate[s] a cultural/historical phenomenon” due to discussions of their use in the poetry on transit programs and discussions of the programs themselves. Inclusion of the poems in the episode demonstrates the choices of poems selected, and in which time periods.
Episode 1 Poetry on Transit
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