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Train of Tears

By Harriet Staff

The New York Times blog continues its coverage of the end of Train of Thought, the subway placard series which prominently displayed literary quotations between ads for accident lawyers and laser acne removal. Today they’ve published a few comments from readers and subway-goers who are sad to see the series go, such as this from college student Ashraf Ali:

It would be sandwiched between the frivolous ads that no one seemed to care about. A short insight into humanity, a small window into our own minds already cluttered by noise pollution and the loud lady talking on her cellphone. … The campaign served a brighter deed for the thousands of people who enter and exit the trains in a quick hustle and bustle. But maybe, for the iPod generation caught with earbuds in ears and cellphones in hand, the quotes were just another random factoid to search on their smartphones.

And this from Lucía Di Poi, who remembers having read an Emily Dickinson poem on the way from one place to another:

I had never been exposed to Emily Dickinson’s poetry before and this quote inspired me to learn about her. In effect, it is a somewhat cynical message considering our current state of affairs, and certainly the circumstances at the time as well, but for my innocent adolescent self it was one of those rare occasions when your mind could be quiet on a crowded subway, in contemplation of something that was perhaps affecting someone in the same way in the same car at the same time.

See? People really do like poetry!

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Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 by Harriet Staff.