By Jonathan Sperling
Queens Daily Eagle
As National Poetry Month comes to a close, the MTA is making riders’ commutes a bit brighter with a new interactive guide to “Poetry in Motion,” the agency’s transit-based intersection of art and poems.
MTA Arts & Design on Monday launched the user-friendly interactive guide, which gives riders and poetry lovers a compact way to view a comprehensive collection of poems and artwork featured since 2012, including four that appear at Queens subway stations. The guide also teaches readers about the poets and artists behind the poetry cards they see in subways and buses citywide.
“Poetry is celebrated every day in New York and launching this new guide brings the intimate experience of discovering a poem to any and everyone around the world through a quick download, while giving our riders a way to rediscover more recent poems,” said MTA Arts & Design Director Sandra Bloodworth in a statement. "Poetry touches all of us in deeply personal ways and has the ability to change our mood and our outlook in the time it takes to read a few lines."
The “Poetry in Motion” program began 25 years ago in subways and stations around the city.
No matter where you live in Queens, there is likely a Poetry in Motion poem or piece of art near you. The Eagle has compiled a few below:
Court Square-23 Street
Artist: Elizabeth Murray, “Stream,” 2001, Glass Mosaic
Poet: Aracelis Girmay, “Noche de Lluvia, San Salvador”
You can’t miss Elizabeth Murray’s mosaic while transferring between the E and G trains at Court Square in Long Island City. The work’s title was chosen by Murray, “to evoke the feet of travelers as they stream out along the passageway,” according to the MTA. Aracelis Girmay’s poem describes rain as a being whose “infinite legs nail the earth.”
Artist: John Cavanagh, “Commuting/Community,” 1986, Porcelain Enamel
Poet: Jim Moore, from “Love in the Ruins”
John Cananagh’s enamel work can be seen on the mezzanine walls of the bustling 61st Street station in Woodside, serviced by the subway and, nearby, the Long Island Rail Road. The mosaic is intended to reflect this intersection of subway and railroad, while also “revealing the daily life of Woodside's residents,’ through a series of photo-montage murals.
Artist: Ray King, “Connections,” 2015, Stainless steel and glass
Poet: Gary Snyder, “Here”
Hundreds of laminated colored glass discs work by using light, color, shadow and texture to animate this Ozone Park A train platform and the roadway below in a work by Ray King. Gary Snyder’s accompanying poem speaks of “some planet/rising from the east shines/through the trees.”
Artist: Laura Gibellini, “Dom (Variations),” 2013, Laminated glass
Poet: Tina Chang, “Notes On Longing”
This Ridgewood station features laminated glass by Laura Gibellini that creates the illusion of “a warm and inviting bedroom welcoming commuters to their home station,” according to the MTA. A bed, wallpapered wall, firm pillows and shiny furniture complete the scene. Tina Chang’s poem brings about thoughts of family, coziness and a night that smells of “after-rain.”