Alfred Denny building poem has removed more than two tons of pollution

Whoever said poetry is pointless?

The world’s first air-cleansing poem has been taken down from the Alfred Denny building. The installation had been on display since Spring 2014 and ended last year.

It removed more than two tons of emissions from the surrounding environment, proving that poetry can be practical.

The poem, ‘In Praise of Air’, was written by award-winning poet and the University of Sheffield’s Professor of Poetry, Simon Armitage. It had become a part of the university’s landscape and will be missed by many.

The team behind the material development of the poem hope that it will be replicated around the world to reduce emissions. They are currently working on similar projects using poetry to tackle air pollution in other cities across the UK.

The installation raised awareness about what we can do to make the air cleaner, and it is hoped that the materials used for the poem will one day be used in our clothes.

It was a revolutionary example of the arts and sciences working together. Professor Joanna Gavins said: “Scientists, such as my colleagues in Sheffield, are developing technologies to help us clean the environment but it’s the arts and humanities that can help raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire people to adopt altruistic pro-environmental behaviours.”