They have therefore placed a big 'girls only' sign over the subject. This makes me curious.
There is no quicker way to get men to enjoy poetry than to tell them it is forbidden.
If you go to a state school and you are a boy can be quite dangerous to be seen reading poetry. It can get us beaten up.
Fortunately this rarely happens as school makes sure that boys do not come across any poem they might actually like- such as anything by Kipling. Kipling was too much of a man's man and too much of a nationalist for the current establishment.
This seemed all the more reason to join the Poetry Library.
It was not to be. There was a multicultural event called 'alchemy' on at the time and you may get an impression of it from the photographs. 'Multicultural' pub sights were on display with all English people erased. A quilt hung from the wall equating English hat wearing and umbrella wearing with fascism. No Indian ever drew a swastika of course...
I began to feel as I did at school. Not welcome.
I made it to the library of the fifth floor. It smelled just as school libraries smelt- of boredom and the counting of time till the blessed home bell. I began to feel slightly sick and had to leave. I never did join the library.
The pictures were all taken in the South Bank Center.