Friday, July 10, 2009

Magic Busses

Bus riders. They're a captive audience, and for some reason, they don't want to look at each other. So they look around: out the window, at a book or newspaper, up at the ads above their heads. And while some may be content reading about injury lawyers and the latest wonder drug, I'd much rather read poetry.

Therefore, I applaud the Charlottesville Transit Service, which has filled its busses with traveling poetry from local elementary students. Their poetic lines launched this week with phrases like, "Crowds pour in, filling empty space,/like platelets in the bloodstream/of a dirty concrete giant."

But poetry on busses is not a new thing. Busses in Madison, Seattle, and Ottowa have similar projects. ASU, my alma mater, has even put poetry on their golf carts which zip around campus. I was lucky enough to be part of this project, which eventually was expanded to include the free bus lines operating on the outskirts of campus. My students loved it, even the huge head shots, which I thought a little excessive.

Are there poetry bus lines in your city or town? Let me know about it. If not, perhaps, working with the local transit service or planning commission, you can start a similar project. We all want the magic bus, right?

No comments: