Poetry Bomb – London Southbank

Poetry Bomb hits London’s Southbank

 
 

On the 26th of June, poems fell from the sky.

At dusk, London’s Southbank witnessed this stunning moment. Onlookers rushed to grab their own coveted verse, marvelling as the poems spun towards the ground. As the poems fell to the ground passers-by quickly picked them up, couples shared moments, friends read them aloud to one another; not a single piece of poetry was left littering the ground

300 poems, by 300 contemporary poets from 204 different countries dotted the sky. Printed on bookmarks in English and Spanish, over 100,000 of them were released from a helicopter above the evening clouds.

Rain of Poems was organised by the Chilean arts collective Casagrande, in conjunction with the launch of the Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus festival.

Each city that has been hit by poems has been the victim of aerial bombing due to military strife. Berlin, Warsaw, Guernica, Dubrovnik, and Santiago have all experienced this healing rain, making London the sixth city to host this symbolic reappropriation of the past.

Casagrande is a dynamic platform that continues to intervene in public spaces with artistic actions that relate to poetry. Rain of Poems hopes to create an unconventional image of the past, providing a new discursive space, an original way to commemorate past events.

They hope to ‘open up questions that help us to understand cultural works as pacifist practices and also to discuss what the place of poetry could be in the history of war.’

 
 

-Megan Conery