In case you are not a regular around here, this April I’m doing the one-poem-a-day challenge for the first time. Today is Day five. But it’s also a Thursday, which means there will be doors. Not as many but a bit special.
Elvis Costello sings Every day, every day, every day, every day I write … no, not the book but one poem.
Today it will be a short one. I must consider my Thursday Doors friends who might not be so eager to read poetry.
Let’s have a look at what the NaPoWriMo challenge says for Day five: “Write a poem that … reacts both to photography and to words in a language not your own. Begin with a photograph. Now find a poem in a language you don’t know. Now start translating the poem into English, with the idea that the poem is actually “about” your photograph.”
This might sound like a recipe from Ellen Hawley’s book The Divorce Diet but so far so good. I obey. (Running thin though, my obedience. Not something I’m famous for. When it starts to feel like school, I’m out of here.)
First I find a photograph. My own from this Monday. Just as we were about to leave Rome, I was kindly reminded of this mural in Trastevere created by My Dog Sighs. Laurent Jacquet has included it in his brilliant monthly showcase of the best street art from around the world for the month of March on his blog StreetArt360. And amore kindly took me there.
Next, a poem, a short one, and my “translation”. It is by Hester Ley Ney who introduces it as: “The shorter the poem and the least said, the less pain my audience will have to endure.” She posted it for the other challenge I mentioned yesterday, the bilingual A and I Poetry Challenge. What is mysterious to me is that she wrote it in Afrikaans which I know nothing about:
wat ek graag wou vashou
en weggedrup uit my hand
Look here, dog.
Eyes crack open, you wash.
It’s starting to smell.
Wake up to my hand.
And now, more photos of this amazing mural by My Dog Sighs and some doors in vicinity. The location is Nuovo Regina Margherita hospital, Via Morosini, Trastevere, Rome.
There are some doors too but just enjoy the views. And read the captions for more story. Always something to read around me.