I thought it was forty or more years ago that I first used to notice the picture on the Bakerloo Line at Charing Cross advertising the National Gallery in London, but maybe it wasn't as long ago as that. According to my private archives, I wrote a poem about it in 1988 that I entitled "Juxtapositions" (see below). I think that may have been the first time I and consciously made use of the word.
On May 9th this year, on a tube train between Paddington and Waterloo, I rode into the station once again ... and was thrilled to see that the poster was still there. I had time to take a picture of it, because my train was stuck for a long time between the tunnels, due to a signal failure. In the end I gave up waiting and dragged my luggage down some long corridors and up and down flights of steps to take a Northern Line train instead.
The painting in the National Gallery is by Botticelli.
Venus, in the picture, smiles at Mars asleep
On the tiles, in the London Underground.
Her tune swoops upwards(From The Planets) rousingMy partisan, cliché-infected heart to cry,How complex life is, how desirable!How, from across the world, peopleCome to our house, brought from so many historiesTo this coincidence;Or side by side upon our shelves, in intimate confinement:Who would have guessed such promiscuityIn our incongruous, enchanting library?I see connections that would seem improbable.Are they mere chance, or are they meant to be?
Venus from Gustave Holst's Planets suite