Thursday, 17 March 2022

Poetry Please? Benches for World Poetry Day 2022


Do you mind if I put up a poetry park bench in your mind?

It's World Poetry Day this week so I've asked some of my family and friends to show us their favourite poetry benches. They're only too willing to oblige. 

So, to quote the words of the poet/songwriter Everette Maddox, 

Do you mind if
I put up a park bench

in your mind?

His Excellency, one of my husbands, has chosen this bench with a poem by e.e. cummings 

Mungo, my imaginary husband: I can't read it. The print is too small. 

Miggy, my imaginary best friend: You haven't used capital letters for the poet's name.

Come on, Migs, you need to get into a poetic frame of mind here. Capital letters aren't needed for poetry. Besides, they're soooooo last century. 

Mungo: Can't read a word of it. 

Dear Mungo, you're not meant to read it. It's the bench that's important. 

A bench is a place for poets and writers to express themselves.

Poems can be inscribed on a bench in a formal way as a commemoration.

A poem makes a wonderful memorial for a loved one.

Or a poem can be inscribed in an informal way, so that the bench becomes a writer's page.

Mungo: I can't read the handwriting. 

Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly: This is graffiti by any other name. It's wanton vandalism. They want flogging if you ask me. 

It's poetry, Lord B! You don't flog poets. Poetry is the language of beauty and romance. But one must be a wise reader to quote wisely and well. 

His Excellency: I like the classics. I'm thinking of the lovers Acme and Septimius. 

Vidit, quis Venerem auspicatiorem?,_Frederic

Yes, who has seen a more favoured love? 

Mungo: Not me. I can't see any poem here at all. It just looks like a couple of people snogging on a bench. 

It's the spirit of the poet in evidence here. A bench with a poem on it: how brilliant is that!

Mungo: Not brilliant if I can't see it. 

Meredith, my feline editor: Cats have an affinity with poetry. Here is The Cat and His Poet.

You're right, Meredith. Lots of poets love their cats. And their benches. Here is a poet and his cat outside a poetry cafe in Amsterdam.

Meredith: It's not a poet and his cat. It's a cat and his poet.

Poetry benches are such fun! For example, here's a sweet little haiku about a hot dog:

Meredith: It's d-o-g. 

Lord Brassica: It's vandalism. Mindless vandalism. 

Mungo: I'm struggling to read it. Something about a hamburger . . . 

OK, I see you guys don't appreciate creative street art. You're taking the road more travelled by I guess.

See what I did there? This is Robert Frost, the American poet who famously stopped by the woods on a snowy evening.

Mungo: Evening? It looks like daytime to me. 

Lord Brassica: Call me short-sighted but I don't see any snow.

His Excellency: How could such sweet and wholesome hours
be reckoned but with herbs and flowers? 

my photo, University of Idaho Arborateum, Moscow, Idaho

Mungo: OK, there's the snow but where are the herbs and flowers?

Never mind. You'll just have to trust Robert Frost when he says that poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.

Mungo: Sounds a bit violent.

Not at all. Poetry is non-violent. Here is a very serene poetry bench from Japan.

Mungo: It's in Japanese.

Yes, we are going to see poems in lots of different languages on benches. That's because poetry speaks to people all around the world. 

Here is a whole park full of poetry in Istanbul.

His Excellency: It's a very long poem and it looks like the first line of it is a couple of miles away.

Here is a much shorter poem from France. It's elegant and simple.

Mungo: I did woodwork at school. I can't read French. 

His Excellency: Doesn't the word village give you a clue?

You don't have to read a poem to appreciate its aesthetic qualities though, do you?

Mungo: I guess I could ring the phone number and ask them to explain it. 

A poem shouldn't have to be explained; it should be felt

Mungo: I can't feel anything since I can't understand it.

OK, ask me no more

Here's a poem in English, with big writing, on the back of a bench.

Mungo: Nice. I can certainly relate to the middle line of this one.

Lord Brassica: It doesn't rhyme.

It doesn't have to rhyme, Lord B. A poem is often defined as the best words in the right order. The best words might not be rhyming ones. 

Miggy: Yeah, it's a bit like benches. The best benches are in the right place.

Well said, Migs. 

Miggy: I found this poetry bench when I was out walking in the countryside.

Lord Brassica: Looks like a boardwalk I'd put up over a boggy field.

It's a poem about farming, Lord B. You work the land for life so I think you'll appreciate its sentiments: 

The plod of foot and hoof/the cut of blade in earth

It's a poem about digging. 

Lord Brassica: Is it? I say, the shovel is a ground-breaking invention.

But I like poems that rhyme.

Mungo: I suppose you are going to say rhyme is so last century too?

Well, no, not exactly. Lots of people like rhyming verses on commemorative benches.

my photo, Minehead UK

Tamsin, our very sweet neighbour: Oh, this is lovely! I wish I could die so I could have a poem like this. 

You'll like this one, Tamsin.

Tamsin: Oh, I've never seen a whole book written on a bench before.

This is a poem, Tamsin. A poem

And here's a poem that's a love letter.

Mungo: It's all Greek to me. 

His Excellency: You are not here any longer. I hurt. I shout. I tremble. I weep. Katerina, I love you.

Golly, I wonder what happened to Katerina.

Mungo: She died of too much poetry I expect.

Tamsin: My fiance Garcon Orange is sort of a poet.

Well, yes, Tamsin, I can see how writing on the roof of your house is a poetic act. 

Tamsin: It's not as romantic as Troy and Lady B though. He reads poetry to her out in the boat.

In the Boat 1888, Konstantin Korovin

Sorry, wrong picture. 

Miggy: Apparently his love is like a red red rose that's newly sprung in June

And her love is like a melody that's sweetly played in tune.

Mungo: Sounds familiar. Do all the seas gang dry by any chance? 

I have a feeling they might.  

A lot of countries have their own famous poets. Here is Julian Tuwim from Poland 

and Patrick Kavanagh from Ireland.

His Excellency: Also known as The Crank on the Bank.

Miggy: Or Banal on the Canal.

There is nothing banal about Patrick Kavanagh. He's just leafy-with-love and the green waters of the canal.

And here's Brendan Behan, another Irish poet.

This is Antun Gustave Matos from Zagreb. 

His Excellency: This chap looks like he's waiting for inspiration.

Yes, a bench is a good place to sit and muse.

This is the poet Carmen Conde from Cartagena in Spain.

Tamsin: Wow, I didn't know women could be poets!

You need to broaden your horizons, Tamsin.

Women have been writing poetry for centuries. Here are a few lines from the poet Sappho who wrote in the 7th century BC.

Sappho and her friends sat on their benches listening to the poet Alcaeus on the island of Lesbos.

Lord Brassica: Lesbos. Hmmm. That rings a bell.

Tamsin: I think it's near Drizzly.

His Excellency: This painting is a cracker! 

Mungo: They knew how to make a nice bench in the seventh century. 

Lord Brassica: Good looking women, too.

Though Mikey the Mariner would no doubt say the mermaids he encounters at sea are even prettier. 

Mungo: Do we have mermaids in England?

Apparently we do. In the Peak District. That's where this mermaid's bench was found. 

In England, our best known poet is The Bard. Here is his bench near the Globe Theatre in London, where his plays are still performed.

Miggy: A bench by any other name would look as sweet.

His Excellency: I think you'll find it's a rose.

Tamsin: Garcon says his love is kind of like a red, red rose. 

Oh, not roses again. I'd like to see roses banned from poetry.

Miggy: I grew up in Scotland where we celebrate Burns Night by addressing the haggis. 

Here's Rabbie's best known poem, on a bench in Dumfries. 

Lord Brassica: That's more like it. A poem that's properly set out in verse. A pity it doesn't rhyme though.

It does rhyme, Lord B! It's an ABAB rhyming scheme. Look: June and tuneI and dry

Lord Brassica: By jove I think you're right. This fellow needs some help with spelling though. Marks off for luve and bonie

Meredith, my feline editor: This is not an editing error. It's the Scots spelling.

Here's a Gaelic poem, dedicated to passing walkers. 

 © Copyright David Wild for Geograph  

Mungo: Writing's too small. 

His Excellency: A stravaiger is someone who wanders aimlessly. 

Meredith: I know a lot of dogs like that. 

Lord Brassica: I can't make heads or tails of it. What is 'nae'? Sounds like my horse Tonks asking for his supper.

Mungo: Anyway, I don't like walking. I prefer cycling.

Miggy: Me too. But I've never been called a speeding butterfly.

Moving swiftly on.

People have favourite places so a poetry bench is a good way to mark a sense of place. 

This poet loved Hampstead Heath in London.   

Mungo: If he loved it that much, why did he move to Somerset?

I'm not sure, Mungo. I don't know the guy. I'm just showing that people use benches to record their fondness for a place. 

A tiny place called Adlestrop is the setting for a very famous poem by Edward Thomas. 

Miggy: Yes, I remember Adlestrop. 

© Copyright Graham Horn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

His Excellency: Me too. All the birds of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Mungo: Sorry, I can't hear them. Can't see them either. 

They're not in the photo, they're in the poem. In poetry, you have to use your imagination.

Mungo: Try as I might, I can't imagine a doll-sized city.

What about this one from Shrewsbury then. It's a small city but not doll-sized.

His Excellency: This poet seems to have fallen out of love with Shrewsbury.

Yes, so beautiful yet so sad

Now picture the sea. 

Two verses of WH Auden's poem On This Island appears on a bench on the Isle of Wight.

And further up the hill from here there's a monument to Lord Tennyson, along with some very welcome benches to rest on after the long climb.

Tamsin: I like romantic poems. 

Let me count the ways?

Tamsin: You can count them if you like. 

Innocent, a fashion model: I prefer poems which are like me.

What, very thin?

Innocent: No, sexy and seductive.

Yes, through the ages poetry has been used to charm and impress.

Innocent: This guy is too retro for me. I've just been to Milan and I didn't see any fashions like this in the AW2022 collection. I prefer someone more on-trend.

You might like this poem, Innocent. It's about clothes.

Innocent: I wouldn't keep someone's smelly old clothes.

My friends and neighbours seem to be missing the point here. I think I'm wasting my time showing them these lovely poetry benches.

His Excellency: I like something classical which stands the test of time.

Mungo: I like something short and easy to understand. 

Lord Brassica: As I said, I like something with a bit of rhyme.

Tamsin: Me too. This is my favourite poem.

Well, Tamsin, you're a star. 

Finally, a poem everybody likes. 

                                     Happy World Poetry Day! 


Here on Benchsite we like to celebrate all kinds of Days. We're lucky that right now it's poetry day benches but there are equally worthy bench days, such as International Toilet DayWorld Book DayWorld Peace DayDog DayCat DayDance DayIce Cream Day and, very importantly, Punctuation Day

Mind if I put up/a park bench/in your mind? is from the poem Park Bench by Everette Maddox (1944-1989). Maddox came to New Orleans in 1975 as Poet in Residence and he was a well known figure at The Maple Leaf. The Everette C. Maddox Memorial Prose & Poetry Reading is still held every Sunday in the courtyard at The Maple Leaf and is the longest running poetry reading in North America. The poet's ashes are buried in the bar's patio area.  The red bench at start of the story is from Reykjavik, photographed by Helgi Haldorsson aka Freddi, at

John McCrae's famous war poem is In Flanders Fields. The poem is a rondeau, written during the World War I by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a physician from Guelph, Ontario. He wrote the poem on May 3, 1915, after his friend and fellow soldier died in the Second Battle of Ypres. First published in London in December 1915, it is one of the most popular and most quoted war poems. McCrae survived the WWI battles but died of pnemonia in a military hospital in Flanders in January 1918. The Delaware Legion cenotaph bench was photographed by TinhutJohn, otherwise known as John P Sargeant. It is one of thousands of cenotaph photos taken for his photostream at

Tony Fischer of Tony Fischer Photography found the e.e. cummings bench alongside a tributary of the Willamette River off Route 34 in Oregon. bench photograph appears in 14 Flickr groups and has drawn a lot of interest.  Edward Estlin Cummings (1894 – 1962) was a popular and important poet of the 20th century, best known for his unconventional structures and his name. However, he did not, apparently, legally change his name to e e and at different times, he used both lowercase and capital letters for his name.  

His Excellency is one of my two husbands. He is a philosopher and a man who takes an interest in many subjects, apart from chemistry. Mungo, my imaginary husband, is my travelling companion and soulmate but he is not a great lover of poetry. He blames this on his schooling, which focused mostly on woodwork. For more about my two husbands and their education see

One must be a wise reader to quote wisely and well is a quotation by Amos Bronson Alcott in 1877. If you're a fan of Louise May Alcott's Little Women, you  may know that this is the real-life father of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. 

Anne-Sophie Ofrim is an amateur photographer from Oslo. She photographed the Writer's Bench in Vaterland, Oslo, in 2009. It looks like a great bench to be inspired on, though I'd probably wait for the snow to melt. Anne-Sophie's photostream contains a lot of very colourful photos of signs and graffiti. 

Lauren Rauk photographed the bench with the handwritten poem in Italy in 2009. It says: Your sea is calm/as the very blue sky.  Previously a professional photographer, Lauren is a recent graduate of sciences Po Master of Public Affairs and she says her skills are for hire. She currently lives in Paris but home is wherever she lays her head.

Back in 2009 Tim Lenz photographed the lovely Barefoot Boy poem on a snowy memorial bench. It's a lovely poem to commemorate a young boy. Tim Lenz, aka Seabamirum, Barefoot Boy has a photostream which suggests a love of travel and birds.

The English painter and sculptor Sir Frederic Leighton (1830-1896) painted Acme and Septimius, an oil on canvas, in about 1868. Like many of his other works, it depicts historical, biblical and classical subjects. The painting is from the love poem of the same name, which was written by Gaius Valeruis Catullus, who lived from 84 to 54BC. The painting now hangs in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and is in the public domain.,_Frederic_-_Acme_and_Septimius_-_c._1868.jpg?uselang=en-gb  Besides his art work, Leighton is known for having the shortest hereditary peerage, as he died the day after receiving it. 

The Cat and His Poet was photographed in 2013 by Zlaping in Szombathely in Hungary. Zlaping describes himself as a dillettante. He has visited 31 US States, plus a lot of other countries as well. The poet referred to is Sandor Veres (Sandor Weöres, (1913-1989) an Hungarian poet and translator. The sculpture is by Veres Gabor. My cat editor Meredith can show you some gorgeous cat benches.

The man with a red scarf was photographed outside a poetry cafe in Amsterdam by Danny Birchall in 2009.  We're going to assume he's a poet. That's the man with the red scarf, not Danny. Danny has travelled widely and has amazing albums full of Signs and Wonders from a variety of fascinating places. 

The pink hotdog haiku bench is from the Guerilla Haiku Movement in 2012.  GHM says: We believe that joy/like the art of haiku must/be spread, in chalkdust. To this
 aim they present poems on pavements, on buildings and, of course, on benches. I totally approve, whether Lord Brassica likes it or not.The words of the haiku on the pink bench are: Hotdogs with ketchup/Hot potatoes filled with cheese/Hamburgers with buns. There you go: a poem small enough to fit in a bun! GHM's website is at

The photo of the bronze statue of Robert Frost sitting on a sandstone bench is by Wally Gobetz, who lives in Jersey City. The Frost statue is at the Ekstrand Sculpture Plaza, at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  Dedicated in 1997, it depicts the favourite poet of Bruce Ekstrand, a former vice chancellor of the university. It was designed by George Lundeen.

How could sweet and wholesome hours
be reckoned but with herbs and flowers? 
How indeed. This is a poem by Andrew Marvel from 1681. It is inscribed in some very shiny memorial benches within the University of Idaho Arborateum in Moscow, Idaho. I visited in March 2019 when there was still deep snow.

The large black stone with the Japanese poem was photographed by Timothy Takemoto, who is from London but now lives in Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan.  Alongside this photograph he presents some interesting ideas about Japanese tourism and ways of seeing and interpreting sights. As for the black stone and the poem, Timothy explains that this is the birthplace of Yamao Youzou, a young revolutionary, who studied engineering in London and Scotland towards the end of the nineteenth century. He came back to Japan to lead the Westernization of its technology education, founding what is now the engineering department of the University of Tokyo. Timothy Takemoto has translated the poem as follows:

At the end of a long journey
Which is the heart
Is Japan


There are some fascinating Japanese benches at

George Seidelman says he is incredible; I'll take his word for it. He certainly knows his benches. His hometown is Lexington, Kentucky, though he currently lives in Berlin. In 2007 he photographed the long rows of poetry book benches in a park in Istanbul. But this is just the beginning. His photostream is full of photographs of interesting street furniture in lots of different places. He even has an organisational chart for all these categories, and a photograph of the chart, which I found poetic in itself  .

Evan Bench has a fantastic eye for interesting subjects, not just benches. He took a number of photographs of street poetry in Lyon, France, in 2008.  I chose just one of them, which is translated as:
My Village
My "almost" Island
My Archipelago
My Hill

Marco Bono travels widely in China and the Chinese bench poem shown was photographed in Xiamen in 2012.  Marco's recent photos from Mongolia are full of splendid sights such as the Tengger desert, camels, cats, sand, and unique views of life in China. 

The beautiful painting Ask Me No More is by Victorian painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) who worked as a contemporary of Alfred Lord Tennyson, the Poet Laureate in England from 1850-1892.  Alma-Tadema was born in the Netherlands but became a UK citizen and worked in England. Painted oil on canvas in 1906, Ask Me No More is a line from Tennyson's poem The Princess

Ask me no more: the moon may draw the sea;
      The cloud may stoop from heaven and take the shape,
         With fold to fold, of mountain or of cape;
But O too fond, when have I answer'd thee?
                Ask me no more

Alma-Tadema also painted Sappho and Alceaus in 1881. The benches in this painting, on the island of Lesbos, are very elegant. The painting is in the Walters Art Museum and can be seen at

Elvert Barnes, from Maryland, has been photographing since 1992. In 2011 he photographed a poetry bench project in Bethesda. The Bethesda Circulator Route Poetry Benches Project includes many delightful bench poems. The poem bench I have chosen is I am young and filled with glee by Alexa April. The bench was designed by artist Bodil Meleney.

Simon Li is a software engineer from Birmingham, currently living in Dundee. He photographed the Ridge and Furrow bench poem in 2007 along the National Cycle Route in South Oxfordshire.
The Ridge and Furrowbench was designed by John Applegarth. I love both its design and the poem. Plod, foot, hoof: what a magical sound comes from this clever use of words.

Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly, is a gentleman farmer. However, it has emerged that he doesn't know as much as you'd think about farm animal benches, especially cow benches or sheep benches.  He knows a bit more about horse benches, learned from his horse Tonks, and possibly something about dog benches from his dog Pru. What he really knows though, is picnic benches

The Kathleen Root bench is in Seacroft Garden, Southwold in Suffolk, photographed in 2007 by Habitat Girl from Atlanta. The lines are from a much-loved poem called Leisure, by William Harvey Davies: What is this life if, full of care/We have no time to stand and stare. This featured on a previous Benchsite story about memorial benches. Habitat Girl is well travelled, as shown in her 85 sets of fabulous photos at She describes her occupation as a chief handwringer. 

If tears could build a stairway/and memories a lane is a much-loved verse for plaques on memorial benches. I photographed this one in Minehead in Somerset.

Robert Wallace travels widely and one of his journeys took him to Greece, where he saw a poem inscribed on a marble bench at Philopappus. Fortunately, he has transcribed the Greek writing for us so that we know it's a love poem for Katerina.

Valerie Everett is from Logansport, USA. Her photostream is full of interesting benches, including the Comfort Bench with the memorial poem on it.

Ławeczka Tuwima, also known as Julian Tuwim (1894-1953) was a poet from Lodz in Poland. His bench statue is by sculptor Wojciech Gryniewicz, made in 1998. The poet on his bench was photographed by Jarek Miszczak, who lives in Lodz.

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day we've got a lot of Irish poets here on Benchsite, and a lot of Irish benches. Brendan Behan  (1923 – 1964) was an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who wrote in both English and Irish. He was also known for his witty quotations and for his heavy drinking (I only drink on two occasions — when I am thirsty and when I'm not).  His bench is at the second lock on the Royal Canal at theDorset Street bridge in Dublin, where he is depicted in conversation with a bird on a bench. The 2012 photo is by William Murphy, a computer scientist from Dublin, who has a project of photographing Dublin street life.

Patrick Kavanagh (1904 – 1967) was an Irish poet and novelist who is not at all Banal on the Canal. He is regarded as one of the foremost poets of the 20th century and known for his depictions of everyday Irish life. His works include the semi-autobiographical novel Tarry Flynn and the poems On Raglan Road and The Great Hunger. His statue sits on a bench along Dublin's Grand Canal and was photographed by William Murphy in 2014. Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal is a line from one of his poems.

Poet Antun Gustav Matoš looks like a splendid fellow. He appeared on a previous Benchsite blog about Europe. Matos (1873-1914) was a Croatian poet who now sits on a bench at Strossmayer promenade in Zagreb. The sculpture was made by Ivan Kožarić in 1978. It was photographed in 2007 by greenmelinda, who lives in Boston and describes herself as a writer, of sorts. She has a nice set of photos from Croatia on her Flickr photostream at The photo is also on wikimedia at   

Carmen Conde (1907-1996) was a poet, teacher and writer from Cartagena in Spain. A bench with her life size statue was created by sculptor Juan José Quirós and inaugurated in 2007, the centennary of her birth. The bench is in El Carmen Street in Cartagena and it was photographed by GlimmerPhoenix in 2011  and made available on Wikimedia at

Tamsin is a local girl who is very sweet but she has a rather strange perspective on things, especially benches.She is engaged to Garcon Orange and has a baby named Isambard Kevin, named after the builder of benches bridges. Tamsin loves poems, and romantic stories, like the one about white benches told by Ursula, our Unicorn in Residence. 

Have you seen a horizon lately? was photographed by Laura Lo Forti, a multimedia producer from New York. She found the memorial plaque on a bench in Central Park in 2007. The date is 2001 and as Laura says, you can spend hours contemplating the stories behind the benches. In fact, I was so curious that I googled Gianfranco Mantegna (1939-2001), who was an Italian-born photographer and a member of the Living Theatre in the 1960s. I'm guessing this memorial is for him. 

Kat Selvocki loves unique eyewear, Fluevogs, adventures, interesting people, and the color red. A yoga teacher from Brooklyn, Kat, photographed the Evening Star who gathers everything bench at the Central Park Zoo in New York.  The poem is from Sappho, who lived and wrote in the 7th century BC on the Greek island of Lesbos. For more Greek benches see

Suzy photographed the mermaid poem bench at Upper Hulme in the Peak District in England.  In 2004 the Peak District National Park commissioned fifty benches with poems to commemorate the anniversary of the Ranger Service. The poems were written by local people living near the national park. Here is the mermaid poem on its bench at the Mermaids Pool at Warslow Moors.  It was written by Harriet Burn, who at that time was at the Manifold Church of England Primary School. 

In the summer at Mermaid Pool
As the grass grows all around
I think I sometimes hear her sing
For the Mermaid’s home I’ve found.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is England's best known bard, loved the world over for his verses and plays. Hundreds of quotations from his plays and poems have come into everyday use: We have seen better days; I'll not budge an inch; that's the long and short of it.  The bench shown was photographed outside the Globe Theatre in London in summer 2014, part of the Books About Town project.  The photographer is Martin Pettitt, from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.

Freddie Phillips lives in the Lake District, where he is Summoned by Fells. 
He's keen on cycling, long distance walking and bivi-nights under the stars. On a trip to Dumfries he visited Robert Burns's House in Burns Street, Dumfries, where he photographed Burns's much-loved Red Red Rose Poem. It's beautiful, easy to read, incredibly romantic, and it rhymes; what's not to like? 

Stravaiger’s Rest is a poem on a granite stone near the River Cree in in Dumfries and Galloway. It was photographed by David Wild for Geograph. A stravaiger is a sort of aimless wanderer and the stone is wishing well to all who pass it. The bench is next to a layby on the A75 near the River Cree. 

Russell Davies photographed the wonderful butterflies on wheels cycling poem bench back in 2009. I happen to know this bench is along the Tissington Trail in the Peak District. All I know about Russell Davies is that he's in the UK but he's not the Russell Davies who writes Dr. Who, he's the one who's on Radio 2 a lot. Also, he has a Cyclogeography album in his photostream, which is not benches but pages from a book about being a London bicycle courier.

My husband Mungo is from a large Scottish family so I just had to include some benches in a story about three Scottish weddings last summer.  

I once lived in a top floor flat in north London and Hampstead Heath was my garden. It's a glorious place full of woods, ponds, heathland, people, and benches. There is a wonderful website devoted to Hampstead Heath and one of their recent stories was about the Heath's benches.   Apparently there is a long waiting list to get a bench dedicated on Hampstead Heath, so no wonder Ben W. put one up for himself before he moved to Somerset. 

Adlestrop is a tiny village in the Cotswolds in the heart of England, the setting for a famous poem by Edward Thomas. Yes, I remember Adlestrop. It's about a train journey and a moment of exquisite stillness as the train stops at this rural station on a summer afternoon. Though the train no longer stops here, there is a bus stop with a bench and a plaque. It was photographed by Graham Horn for Geograph in 2007 © Copyright Graham Horn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence   And here is a link where you can see the brilliance of the full poem.  

David Leverton, aka Velvet Android, photographed the doll-sized city poem bench in 2007. The doll-sized city is not Brooklyn, New York but Brooklyn Hill in Wellington, New Zealand, where he was living at the time. David says he often walked past the benches of the Wellington Writers' Walk and he knew some of the poems word-for-word. He enjoyed tracking down all the benches, which you can see in his photographic collection at   His blogspot is at

Shrewsbury breaks my heart - so beautiful, so sad is a poem on a river bench near the English Bridge in Shrewsbury in Shropshire. It was photographed by The Snige in 2011. The Snige owns a nice camera and he loves looking at other people's photos. Snige says that sometimes the photos are so fantastic he feels he should just put his camera away as he could never reach such brilliance, but most of the time it inspires him to try harder. 

On This Island is a very famous poem by WH Auden. Though there is no evidence that it was written on the Isle of Wight, the view from the bench over the Solent and Alum Bay is a fitting scene for the words of the poem. A poetry bench was erected here in 2011 by Shore Women, a group of writers from the Isle of Wight. You can see benches from the Isle of Wight on this blog, but don't confuse them with benches from Paradise Island

The word Poem written on the hand is a photograph by hn guitarist at  It refers to one of the most controversial poems of all time, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, read in 1955 and first published in 1956. The long narrative poem provoked an obscenity trial in 1957 due to its frank references to drugs and sexuality, however the judge ruled that the poem was not obscene. The poem begins: I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked/   OK, it's not a bench poem but what would a poetry blog be worth if it didn't include Howl?

The Poem is a rococco revivalist painting by the Italian painter Federico Andreotti (1847-1930). It is one of many paintings of beautiful women in garden settings. The reader of the poem in this painting certainly seems to have made a favourable impression on the two women. The painting is in the public domain due to expired copyright and is available on the amazing wikimedia at  

Lady Jessica Brassica is married to Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly, however she seems to have fallen for the poem-reading Troy, who arrived in Fribble-under-Par just recently. Whatever have they been getting up to in her beach hut this summer ? And what of Innocent, her jealous daughter-in-law? For a quick guide to my friends and neighbours in Fribble see

In the Boat (1888) is a painting by Russian artist Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939). It is so much lovelier than Troy's tacky plastic boat. 

Antanas Kaziliunas is a yoga teacher from Vilnius in Lithuania. He took the photo of the I keep your clothes poem, written by poet and conceptual artist Jenny Holzer. A bench with the poem is in the garden of the  Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice.    

The twinkle twinkle little star school bench is from Daena at Bad Rabbit Vintage.  Daena lives in southern Oregon and does original hand-painted furniture with attitude. Her work has been featured on lots of blogs and websites and her own blog is full of joy and inspiration. She shows you the furniture and what she does, and how, and why she does it. There are cute kitties, stools, benches and, of course, Bad Rabbits. Have we got rabbit benches on Benchsite? We certainly have! And school benches too.

Benchsite is a very literary blog site so keep an eye out for brilliant book benches and library benches. There is much poetry spread throughout Benchsite and you'll find parts of poems and even some whole poems on many of the blogs. For a poem about animal benches see Noah's Ark; it rhymes! So does this poem about a path at  If you don't need rhyme and you like swimming, try  Interested in Lord Tennyson? See

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