Chilean poets in Moscow Metro

You no longer need to bring a book to while away the time in the Metro any more. Starting with the 17th of November, a new “Poetry in the Metro” train runs along the Fili line. The project is a continuation of the Moscow Underground’s cultural programme which reminds passengers of beauty in the busy life of a large city.
The Poetry train will introduce Metro passengers to the best poets of many countries of the world. The first set of poems is dedicated to the five greatest poets of Chile. It was compiled together with the Chilean Embassy in Moscow and is dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Chile’s independence, marked this year.
The walls of the train are covered with quatrains and octaves by Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, Vicente Uidobro, Gonsalo Rojas and Nikanor Parra. Aboard the train, passengers will also have an opportunity to read the poets’ biographies and to find out about the project.
Works by Chilean poets will be available for about six months, then they will be replaced. New selections of poems by world famous poets will be offered to Muscovites regularly, every six months.
The “Poetry in the Metro” train is an addition to the park of special trains with names, which have been running along the Metro lines for a few years already. Passengers know the “Reading Moscow” train, with extracts from children’s and teenagers’ books, from fairy-tales and ballads to modern literature, as well as the “Aquarelle”, or “Water Colour”, which is a picture gallery on wheels. Passengers enjoy the unusual trains, especially the art train, says Svetlana Tsariova, the head of the Moscow Metro press-service.
“People try to synchronize their trips with that train’s schedule, to be able to ride on it. We display masterpieces of world art aboard. The current display was made together with the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. If someone has not been to that museum for a long time, this is a wonderful opportunity to refresh their memories”.
The authors of the Moscow Metro’s cultural projects are convinced that people need such trains as the “Aquarelle”, the “Reading Moscow” and “Poetry in the Metro”. People live with a very tight schedule, they are short of time for reading, visiting museums and exhibitions. The authors of the project say: “We bring art closer to our passengers”. The Metro staff-members mark with satisfaction that there is no vandalism in the “cultural” trains.
London Underground and Shanghai Metro are the only other systems to share in this literary experience. Posters with extracts from poems by well-known poets decorate the lobbies of their stations. But Moscow is the only city with a permanent poetry train. In this respect, the Moscow Metro project is unparalleled.
Find more info here.

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