Today’s NY Times says the MTA will salute W.H. Auden, who split his time between his native England and New York, with some subterranean poetry to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the poet’s birth.
I think it’s a good idea, and unlike many cynical New Yorkers, I like the subway-wall poesy offered up as part of the MTA’s Poetry in Motion campaign. But I take issue with the Auden excerpt they’ll be using.
It comes from “O Tell Me the Truth About Love.” No problem with that. But then the verse reads: “When it comes, will it come without warning/Just as I’m picking my nose?”
We’ve all seen people picking their nose on the subway; perhaps we’ve even committed among the most heinous of subway crimes. I just don’t see the need to promote such behavior.