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European Poetry to be enjoyed by Dublin Commuters

27 April 2023

To mark National Poetry Day European poets will be showcased on DART and Commuter services throughout the summer.

The European Parliament; the European Commission, Poetry Ireland and Iarnród Éireann are launching a new initiative titled ‘Poetry in Motion’. From 27 April, National Poetry Day, Poetry in Motion will showcase poems by 10 poets from across Europe. The collection of poems will be visible on DART & Commuter services operating in the Greater Dublin Area until the end of August. This is also to celebrate 50 years of Ireland’s membership of what is now the EU.

Speaking at the launch in Dublin’s Connolly Station Frances Fitzgerald MEP said “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the European Union it is important to acknowledge the immense cultural influence that our membership has brought to Ireland and particularly to the arts. Membership has brought a richness of diversity to our literature which is clearly reflected in this series of unique poems from across the EU.

I want to welcome this initiative between Iarnród Éireann, the European Parliament Liaison Office and the European Commission Representation in Ireland for bringing this vibrant EU cultural project to life for commuters across the country.”

European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness said “I am delighted today to help launch the wonderful ‘Poetry in Motion’ campaign marking Ireland’s 50 years membership of the EU. These poems are a great reminder of Europe’s linguistic and cultural diversity, with the poets’ creativity drawing us closer together. They also provide great food for thought for commuters and travellers, bringing poetry from across Europe to our daily life.”

Liz Kelly, Director of Poetry Ireland added, “The idea of a poem as a message in a bottle reminds us that no poem is an island, it needs a reader to complete the process. Poems are waiting for the reader to uncork the bottle and rediscover the poem, experience that intimate connection across oceans, and miles, real and metaphorical. A poem must be compact to float within the walls of its container, yet the possibilities are miraculously endless, it’s a song but it can also tell a story or a joke, paint a picture, bring news, pass on wisdom, give shelter, advice or knowledge, travel time, praise, lament or incant – the reader just needs to open that bottle.

Displaying poems from across the EU on public transport enables the reader to, in a real sense, go on a journey with the poem. Each poem speaks to the theme of Message in a Bottle at a time when across Europe, citizens value, more than ever, the sense of identity and community embodied by the EU. Poems written in languages which are not familiar to us throw up intriguing and interesting ideas and ways of seeing the world. Irish and English translations of each poem brings them full circle and enables us to access new poets and perspectives as we go about our daily business.”

CEO of Iarnród Éireann, Jim Meade said, "Iarnród Éireann is proud to partner with the European Parliament, European Commission & Poetry Ireland to mark 50 years of Ireland being a member of what is now the European Union. The poems from poets across Europe will be displayed on our DART & Commuter services throughout the summer and I'm sure that our customers will enjoy reading them as they travel on our services"