Transfer and a sonnet, please


This editorial appeared in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times:

On the congested, narrow streets of Bogota, Colombia, the buses are slow and the smog can be stinging.

But the introduction of a bit of culture, Latin-style, now promises to ease the commuter's weary way on municipal buses.

Many buses will have their own poets. The city Institute of Culture and Tourism has hired 15 poets to declaim the classics to Bogotanos bouncing to work.

"Our aim," said the manager of the institute, "is to pass on a cultural message to the people, and, who knows, perhaps some of the patrons will leave the bus having learned a new poem."

For the next three months, the poets, dressed in green vests and caps, will offer riders this short introduction: "Ladies and gentlemen, spare me two minutes of your precious time ..." and )) proceed to recite works from poets ranging from Spain's 17th century baroque master Luis de Gongora to the Nicaraguan modernist Rub- en Dario.

If this catches on, who knows? ... William Shakespeare and Robert Frost on Los Angeles drive-time radio?

Pub Date: 7/31/98

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