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Celebrations

Poems on the UndergroundToday, there’s much to celebrate as the world’s oldest underground transportation network, the London Underground, celebrates 150 years today on the same day that the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton turns 31.

When I studied abroad in the U.K., one of my flatmates had an anthology of poetry that had been posted on the London Underground (where the advertisements usually ran). The book, Poems on the Underground (Fifth Edition), became one of my favorites to just dip into now and again, and ranged from Percy Shelley to Maya Angelou, Brits and non-Brits as well as some anonymous authors.

I eventually bought my own copy  that year and have been revisiting those old poems this week. I found one which might be appropriate for today’s celebrations. Let’s raise a glass and have a read! Cheers.

A Birthday

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

– Christina Rossetti (1830-94)

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