Campaign to Put the Poem Back in Waterloo Underpass

Eurydice by Sue Hubbard
Early in October Time Out named Sue Hubbard’s poem at Waterloo, written when she was the Poetry Society’s Public Art Poet, and published in Ghost Station as one of the best things to look out for in London. It adorned the entire underpass.

The poem was commissioned by the Arts Council and the BFI from Sue Hubbard to make the experience of taking the underpass from Waterloo to the Imax Cinema a little less grim. It works brilliantly and is so appropriate to the subterranean setting. It takes up the whole length of the tunnel, and its both reason to linger and haunting enticement to return.

There’s no return now, as just a few weeks later and the poem has been painted over completely and is lost to visitors and the city!

Add your name to campaign to have it reinstalled as a key London feature and something to treasure. Simply sign a comment here, or join us on Facebook:

It was well worth seeing the words in situ, but given they’re gone, you can read the poem in full here:

One of the Poetry Society’s Poetry Places

30 Things we love about London — No. 22 is this poem

You can see a small part of the poem here:

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22 thoughts on “Campaign to Put the Poem Back in Waterloo Underpass

  1. Ryan Ormonde

    GPS believe poetry is everywhere and should be encouraged as such. We fully support the campaign to have Sue Hubbard’s poem reinstalled as a key feature of poetic London.

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  3. max hildebrand

    Which numnut decided to paint over the poem? find him, get him to put the poem back, then throw him in the thames, preferably attached to lots of blue paint pots. It’s the best thing about Waterloo by some distance


  4. Audrey Morris

    My friend Jane Percival are adamant that the poem should be returned immediately to its original site. London certainly needs poetry at this time, more than ever, and this was an exceptional poem!!

  5. Audrey Morris

    My friend Jane Percival and I are adamant that this exceptional poem should be returned top its original site immediately. London needs good poetry more than ever at this time!

  6. Pingback: Save a great London poetry landmark | World News

  7. Ian

    Who is responsible for this vandalism? The poem was installed with public money, and was a source of great pleasure when walking down that way – a highlight amongst the grubby unlovely concrete. How does any bureaucrat have the right to trash a public monument? Is it ok to just demolish statues or works of art paid for and enjoyed by the public? They should be fined and forced to reinstate the thing which they had no permission to destroy.

  8. Charlotte Rolfe

    This poem brought alive a particularly bleak underground site – and redeemed it.
    Too bad some joker took the final line(s) so literally. Now what is there? A wall of relentless blue.
    The people of London have been robbed, so own up, and give us back our words and dreams.

  9. Zara White

    I used to read this poem every day on my way to work – poetry gets precious little exposure and this well-loved landmark should be restored.

  10. Mark Pimlott

    These words are significant. They seep into people’s consciousness. The owners of the site could see them as a gift.
    Please restore them, and believe in the people who walk, who work, who read, who live, who love.

  11. Carla Lever

    Drowning in blue, indeed. The irony.

    Cityscapes are too often purely functional, dry spaces. “Eurydice” – and all the other wonderful examples of public art – remind us these spaces can be interacted with, can be played with. They remind us that a simple act of walking through a cityspace can be a chance to travel some…where further than concrete reality. Sue, if nothing else, I am glad this has given you the opportunity to hear just how much the journey meant to people from all over the world.

    Blank walls equal blank minds. We are, unfortunately, confronted with an abundance of both.

  12. Karen Johnson

    can a yankee weigh in here… surely we can only benefit from your intended example in this arena… bring back that quintessential london poetry in the subterranean setting… bring it all back home… great work salt of the earth…

  13. E F

    The weight and fervour of responses here suggests that poetry still has a place in people’s hearts, minds and indeed public spaces; a space that was once so atmospheric is now horrendously surgical. Bring it back.

  14. Suzanna Fitzpatrick

    It is disgraceful that Network Rail have vandalised this poem without the consent of either Sue Hubbard, the Arts Council, or the BFI (who are co-owners of the tunnel, and co-funded the project with the Arts Council). It is a clear example of bureacratic laziness and meanness of spirit; slop the paint up without checking first (becuse checking might cause complications) then utter a feeble, lip-service ‘apology’ but say that no money is available to reinstate the poem. Fait accompli. Network Rail have behaved with appalling philistinism, and should be shamed into paying to restore the poem, since it is their actions which have vandalised it. Projects such as this poem are what humanise our cities and our lives; we can’t let them be taken away without a fight.

  15. Lance Pierson

    I lead poetry walks for the London Walks Company, showing people pieces of poetry inscribed in public places. I have the strongest objection to losing one of these treasures without so much as a by your leave. Please reinstate it at once.

  16. Dai Vaughan

    Network Rail have been condemned here in Glasgow for cutting down, without any neighbour notification, a huge number of trees and bushes along railway lines. They have been carrying out a scorched earth policy, which is total vandalism.
    So, they should replant trees, bushes……….AND POEMS, which were all a pleasure to all and should be once more.
    Dai Vaughan

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