Bards in the Bog

BBC News: Poetry aims to set bog standard.

A competition has been launched to find poetry which will feature in the toilets of Shetland. Six poems will be selected every three months to go on display in all leisure centre toilets and at other locations. The Bards in the Bog competition is open to all ages, and poems may be on any subject. The only rule is that they must be 12 lines or less in length as the posters need to have large print which can easily be read from a seated position.

Bards in the Bog, what a great name! ("Bog" is slang for toilet in the UK). Reminds me of seeing small posters on London Underground trains for the Poems on the Underground scheme, launched in 1986. They use both contemporary and historical poems, and publish anthologies of the poems used. The website includes a poetry archive, and a link for poem of the day. This is one that’s been used:

Spring and Fall to a young child

Margaret, are you grieving

Over Goldengrove unleaving?

Leaves, like the things of man, you

With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?

Ah! as the heart grows older

It will come to such sites colder

By and by, nor spare a sigh

Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;

And yet you will weep and know why.

Now no matter, child, the name:

Sorrow’s springs are the same.

Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed

What heart heard of, ghost guessed:

It is the blight man was born for,

It is Margaret you mourn for.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 – 89)