Polish Poetry for Passengers of the Sofia Metro
Polish and Bulgarian contemporary poetry will be on display to passengers of the Sofia metro for seven weeks. This project to present famous authors from both countries was a result of cooperation between the Polish Institute in Sofia and Literaturen Westnik magazine.
On the metro, passengers will be able to read poems by Polish (Adam Zagajewski, Ewa Lipska, Ryszard Krynicki, Jacek Dehnel and Krystyna Dąbrowska) and Bulgarian (Iwan Teofiłow, Iwan Canew, Mireła Iwanowa, and Jekaterina Josifowa) artists. Some of the works, especially those of the Polish authors, are from books published many years ago which are no longer available in bookshops.
The poems are presented on red posters which have been hung all over the carriages and on the metro station near Sofia University. Many students attended the inauguration of the project on 24th October. The director of the Polish Institute, Jarosław Godun, said:
The inhabitants of the city will surely be surprised to see poetry among the advertisements. We picked short, attention-grabbing works and we hope that at least some of the passengers will decide to read the books of these authors.
Krystyna Dąbrowska, a Polish poet and translator who came to Sofia to present the project, said:
The language of poetry is an alternative to the modern language of the media, advertising, the language of everyday life. We expect that more sensitive people will pay attention to our poems, and that the poetry will encourage them to reflect and reveal to them a more beautiful and interesting world.
Poetry on the Metro (Poezja w metrze) is the latest in a series of literature-related projects by the Polish Institute. Their recent projects have been very warmly received. In March, to celebrate Bulgarian Liberation Day, Polish diplomats in Sofia recited the patriotic poem Hadżi Dimitr by Christo Botew, who died in the struggle to liberate the country from Ottoman rule in 1876. The poem is dedicated to Dimitrij Nikołow Asenow, one of the heroes of the Bulgarian liberation movement. Video material from the inauguration is available on YouTube and the websites of the Polish Institute in Sofia and the Polish Embassy in Bulgaria. The initiative was well received by Bulgarians, and it was reported in many different media.
Source: PAP, translated by BR, 28 Oct 2016