the long poem

October 4, 2013

Alice Oswald - Kew Bridge

There are long poems and then there are long poems. Alice Oswald’s poem The Self-Playing Instrument of Water, measuring just ten rhyming couplets, would not be counted among the longest, or even the long. But Harry Pearce and his team at Pentagram have turned the poem into a large-scale typographic installation that connects London’s Steam Museum and Musical Museum along historic Kew Bridge. When the project is complete, pedestrians will be able to read the 160-meter-long poem (about 525 feet) as they walk along the bridge.

See additional photos and read Alice Oswald’s poem on the Pentagram site.

(On a related note, BBC announced last week that Alice Oswald became the first poet to win the £25,000 Warwick Prize for Writing, for her work Memorial, a reworking of Homer’s Iliad. Oswald made poetry headlines in 2011 when she withdrew Memorial from the TS Eliot Prize because she felt “uncomfortable” with the work of the prize’s primary administrative sponsor.)
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Pentagram photo

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