In 2001 poet and art critic Sue Hubbard was commissioned by the Arts Council and the British Film Institute to write a poem for the underpass between Victory Arch at Waterloo Station and the IMAX cinema. In Autumn 2010 Time Out magazine listed it as one of the best 'secret' things to look out for in London - two weeks later the poem was inadvertently painted over during a 'clean up'.
The poem, 'Eurydice', is now being restored, thanks to a Facebook campaign which raised £1,000 and a company called Neural Technologies who have funded the remainder of the restoration costs.
The following article is taken from a press release on Neural Technologies' website:
London. Unfortunately, two weeks later the poem was inadvertently painted it over
whilst 'cleaning' up the tunnel. A huge press outcry followed. The story was covered
in The Guardian, The Spectator, Time Out, The Evening Standard, and Poetry News
and was even given a ten minute slot on Canadian Radio.
Christopher Hamilton-Emery, the director of Salt publishing that publishes Sue
Hubbard's collection Ghost Station, in which the poem appears, began a Facebook
campaign. The response was phenomenal. More than 1200 people signed up
demanding the restoration of the poem. One man said he proposed as a result of
seeing it, while a mother spoke movingly of receiving comfort from reading it on the
way to the hospital to see her terminally ill daughter.
A thousand pounds was raised on Facebook and Neural Technologies has funded
the remainder of the restoration costs. Restoration is being undertaken by James
Salisbury of the City and Guilds Art School.
Said Sue Hubbard, "This has been a triumph for popular opinion. This much loved
and much read poem - London's largest public art poem - is being put back by public
demand due to the persistence of those who believe in the role of poetry and public
Sue Hubbard has published several collections of poetry, short stories, a novel and
a recent book of art criticism.'
To read the full article, visit:
I am not afraid as I descend,
step by step, leaving behind the salt wind
blowing up the corrugated river,
the damp city streets, their sodium glare
of rush-hour headlights pitted with pearls of rain;
for my eyes still reflect the half remembered moon.
Already your face recedes beneath the station clock,
a damp smudge among the shadows
mirrored in the train's wet glass,
will you forget me? Steel tracks lead you out
past cranes and crematoria,
boat yards and bike sheds, ruby shards
of roman glass and wolf-bone mummified in mud,
the rows of curtained windows like eyelids
heavy with sleep, to the city's green edge.
Now I stop my ears with wax, hold fast
the memory of the song you once whispered in my ear.
Its echoes tangle like briars in my thick hair.
You turned to look.
Second fly past like birds.
My hands grow cold. I am ice and cloud.
This path unravels.
Deep in hidden rooms filled with dust
and sour night-breath the lost city is sleeping.
Above the hurt sky is weeping,
soaked nightingales have ceased to sing.
Dusk has come early. I am drowning in blue.
I dream of a green garden
where the sun feathers my face
like your once eager kiss.
Soon, soon I will climb
from this blackened earth
into the diffident light.