The wall poems of Leiden
Just a short ride from Schiphol airport (the home of many long layovers), Leiden is a fairytale-like city which presents the best of what the Netherlands has to offer: a wonderful university, museums, windmills, and canals. The city also has a surprisingly modern side exemplified by an art project begun in 1992, which displays poems from numerous time periods, languages, and cultures. The project includes 101 poems placed around the city, which surprise the visitor for their beauty of content as well as their well-thought placement in the city. A website highlights 25 of these poems (including their translations) and all have been published in two volumes. The photograph is a poem by Nasir Kazmi from Pakistan written in the Urdu language. These poems are treasures in a town well worth visiting.
By Liz Cummins
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