Day five: Thursday Doors, 5/4/18: My Dog Sighs

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:

Hierdie dag
wat ek graag wou vashou
het gesmelt
en weggedrup uit my hand

Let’s see:

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.

For Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors challenge.

49 thoughts on “Day five: Thursday Doors, 5/4/18: My Dog Sighs

      1. I have always liked poetry. I wrote a funny story about a poetry course in college.

        I missed the crane the first time through (I was reading on my phone). I just went back. I was looking in the wrong photo (below the caption).

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Jean, good to hear from you. Oh, yes, it seems just a thing for her. I see on his website (it’s in my post somewhere) that he is quite an eye specialist. I love this brown shade he has chosen here so much. And thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The first set of doors broke my heart when I saw the chain and padlock distracting the eye and ruining the look of the dark wood, then I realized the doors were probably distracting the eye from the mural further into the shot 😀
    It’s a beautiful mural though and I’m sure someone put many hours into creating it – such talent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe, Norm, I was so eager to reach the mural but still couldn’t pass this door without clicking. And only now I noticed that panel or what is it that says Kiss! Many doors in this area have a chain or something similar blocking the entrance. I guess it’s needed…

      Thank you, I loved seeing it too. And the weather was just perfect to add the blue.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. After getting used to the scariness of the eyes (you header here is amazing!) I thought it was a really cool way to send out the message what someones “saw!”
    You may know that there is a lot of Dutch in Afrikaans (because in the black page of the past , they enslaved that part of Africa). My translation of the African poem would be
    Here is the day
    I would really like to hold (keep)
    it melted
    and dripped off my hand

    I like how some poems have such immediacy, forming a visual scene in the mind.
    Hope you have a lot of fun with that poem challenge.
    A great post, Manja!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ah, thank you, Jesh, for the translation! I realised later that it was about gelato. 😀 (In the original post there is also a version of this poem in English.)

      Oh, you find the eyes scary? For me they are benevolent, but it must be because my parents both have similar eye colour, as does amore and I. And bestia too! Maybe most of all. 😀

      I’m having great fun with it, I never saw it coming because I barely write poetry. Thanks, again!


    1. Hihi, Kristin, I’m glad you had a look. I didn’t know the haiku in English was the translation of this poem in Afrikaans when I was writing mine, and it’s good this way. But still – I had fun more than trying to guess the real meaning.


    1. Thank you, Donna! I’m so glad that I was reminded of it just in time and it was really close to us. True, they seem real but also benevolent, at least to me with all brown-eyed people in my family before and my pack now, including me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one of those posts with layers to comment on!
    First the mural! At first glance of the feature photo I thought it was photoshopped. Cool – Manja is getting into photo-art. Then I started to notice ALL THOSE EYES. Like Jesh, I thought they looked scary – sinister.
    The more I looked at the photos, the more impressed I was with the art work.

    As for the poem … I’m glad I wasn’t doing this challenge because I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with those instructions! Your interpretation was pretty cool and whether you intended it to or not, it was a nice touch to create that link back to The Dog Sighs with the dog reference in the poem. Nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you, Joanne, for your layered reading and commenting. Yes, it was intentional to draw the eyes and dog in the poem. 🙂 Busted! 😉 It is quite an experience to be surrounded by all those benevolent eyes.


  4. Excellent post, nice poem, brilliant doors and superb pictures of the My Dog Sighs piece. I followed his progress of the work on Instagram, but if I am honest, your pictures are way better than his own ones. I watched him at work at Upfest in Bristol last year. He is one of the greats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo, Scooj, this is high praise from one who knows. Thanks so very much! It was the best day to be there, the sky so blue coming through. I’m sorry I missed the opening day when 200 art pieces were hidden in vicinity for people to find and take home. The coolest treasure hunt!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, we were really that close! I even remember that eye mural, I think I do 🙂 Rome is a treasure for a door-hunter, I just had to stop myself otherwise my man would have left me, haha. Admiring doors and taking 1000 pics of them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, you saw it too, Marina? I was there on Monday afternoon. It’s near Trastevere, I’m sure you went there, by the river. Hehe, and I’m glad you were taking door photos. If I see an especially nice one when you post them, I’ll beg you to disclose its location. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think, I did close to Trastevere, but I’ve seen so much those days! Trastevere is a jewel, and seems like many have discovered that 🙂
        I hope, I will know the door locations when I post them, haha. I still feel lost in that city 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think there are many people everywhere in Rome even when it’s not Easter. Same goes for Florence. Have you been to the Fontana di Trevi? You can barely see the fountain for all the people. No wonder that there is an entire industry on milking the tourists. :p But I hear in Naples it’s even worse. 😀 (They take your car tyres.)

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I was in Florence 6 years ago, in August and it was ok. there were tourists, but it was not so bad. But Easter Sunday is like the worst day of the year – and we came, idiotically, haha. It was like moving in queue around dome and on the ponte vecchio. Same time I was in Rome and it was not so bad either. Or I lost the memory of it. Now it was just craaaazy. Fontana de Trevi, haha, we were there 3 times, every time is a packed time 🙂
          Naples got us on the train, so we didn’t experience any “milking”, haha. But the total impression was not nice. Too sad, but I doubt I will want to come back.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great post! Dogs, street art, a bit of Afrikaans (which allows me to see how much my Dutch lets me figure out), and Rome! Love it all! A particular fondness for the “dog tag” shot, as I’ve ended up with a few of those over the years. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Alison. Welcome to my blog. Plenty of Rome, dog and street art on here (well, more of the first two than latter) but no Afrikaans. This was an exception. 🙂 Dogs started it, the tagging, didn’t they. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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