Today I want to introduce to you one of the most unusual and wonderful features of the city where I live: wall poetry. There are a lot of places in the world where poems have been written on the walls of the houses for one occasion or another; however, only in Leiden this has been done on a regular basis for 13 years. From 1992 to 2005, members of a voluntary non-profit organisation "Tegen-beeld", which has popularisation of world poetry as its aim, have brought 101 poems on the walls of the buildings in the old city of Leiden. The project has been started with the poem of the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva and finished with the poem of the Spanish poet Garcia Lorca. All poems are written in the original languages and most of the times there is also a small board with Dutch and/or English translation. Here you can see the whole list of the poems. If you click on a poem there, you can read it and see how it looks on the building; unfortunately, further information is available only in Dutch.
One of these wall poems I want to present today. What you see in this picture is Sonnet XXX of William Shakespreare (it was actually the second poem they did, after Tsvetaeva), reflected in the blue Saab parked nearby. The distortion made the reflected house with the poem written on the wall look like an old open book, I was really fascinated by this effect. The "normal view" of the same poem (taken from the internet site) is in the WS. I flipped this reflection view so that the text could be read, and I hope it can be. For the case it is still difficult, the text is below. Anyway, such a beautiful poem is worth repeating, isn't it? :)
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
Critiques | Translate
devimeuxbe (58557) 2006-08-10 5:51
This picture is very beautifuill and intellligent. You get a nice subject but also a wonderfull realisation. Great light, great frame.
Really well done
vinicio (23415) 2006-08-10 6:41
Excellent reflection, beautiful image and beautiful motivation, compliments, good note too, I put this image into my theme about the reflections, thanks.
PrzemekN (140) 2006-08-10 6:50
Interesting and well done photo. Good composition, contrast and - above all - the idea which is just great.
The combination of renaissance and modern technology in form of a SAAB car is really fascinating.
francbois (480) 2006-08-10 7:01
Looks like there's a relation between people fondly cleaning their car and the keeping of poetry's masterpieces alive...
It's an inspiration, and one can perfectly read it. Hope it will work better than old fogeys shovelling it down reluctant throats.
Walls can be useful, after all! Regards, F'
hay_kes (30436) 2006-08-10 7:20
Wonderful composed.Beautiful colours and details.Good work.
Very well done.
luisafonso (862) 2006-08-10 8:49
Ah! Very clever Alexander! The image is very good. Love the distortion caused by the Saab's shiny hood. Its electric blue color really looks like a sky... And the Saab circular logo could just be the moon. If you had managed to put the logo if the right upper third it would be amazing. High creative stuff once again my friend!
Dragonheart (8414) 2006-08-10 9:43
This is a very creative shot. you have got a very crystal clear reflection on the car, excellent colours and details.
Thanks for sharing
king (2905) 2006-08-10 11:43
I've always thought a Saab is made for driving. Maybe for the aim of reflecting poems it satisfies even better.
Very original shot.
Cretense (68685) 2006-08-10 15:14
This is an excellent take! Incredible idea that gave a unique, very original result. Excellent note too!
Congratulations, my friend!
nwoehnl (122) 2006-08-10 16:24
Creative shooting to show this interesting concept of poetry on the building façades, Alexander. The car exterior provides a pleasant blue "canvas", and the just moderately distorted reflection is well seen and well readable as Shakespeare's beautiful poem. Nice shot.
capthaddock (28790) 2006-08-10 18:23
Hi Alex - briklliant idea, the distortion makes it more inetersting, and I like how you included the Saab logo.
oochappan (22043) 2006-08-11 3:53
That's a remarkable shot Alexander, the reflection so clear and sharp, fine to include the mark of the car. Very well seen and inspirational, an outstanding photo.
PixelTerror (0) 2006-08-11 4:16
Interesting subject and lovely reflection with well contrasted deep colors, I see you're more interested in litterature, so you keep the book I keep the saab Ok ?
I wish you a nice week end,
carper (96) 2006-08-11 10:12
hele mooie reflectie foto Alexander,
uitstekende kwaliteit, good point of view, zeer goed gezien, uitstekend werk.
john_c (24662) 2006-08-11 10:30
An interesting and rather unique photo which, together with your informative note, has high impact. The ditortion effects are artistically pleasing. As others have commented, this photo and your note are most inspirational. Well presented.
Budapestman (82620) 2006-08-11 15:15
Very interesting this wall poetry and I think very good idea to introduce this word! I think fantastic this reflection in the blue Saab! Super POV and impression!
Thank you, nice days,
sabyasachi1212 (19771) 2006-08-12 5:59
It took me a while to recognise what you have done with this. And then I had to applause. Its a brilliant idea to catch it like this and then flip it for us. The clarity is amazing. Well Done!
With Greetings from India
alana (2625) 2006-08-13 21:54
Wow, what a presentation! I really like everything in this picture - excellent composition, great contrast, clear deep-blue sky, distortion, reflecttion, and, of course, poetry and a very interesting note. Great job indeed, Alexander
bantonbuju (51765) 2006-08-14 0:54
heheh, this one is soooo creative, bravo aljek, superb finding, excellent presentation (colours in particular);
pazdravljaju iz vilna,
Luan (12971) 2006-08-14 5:38
a very nice Saab ;o) reflection a very artistic work from you.
cherryripe (21033) 2006-08-16 6:41
Original shot and well taken. It's amazing that the text is so legible. The sun lights up the wall just nicely and I like that blue and the Saab logo.
greg (2835) 2006-08-17 7:59
I enjoyed these when I lived in Leiden - didn't know the story of how they got there. Interesting link - thanks. Nice photo.
canan (989) 2006-08-17 9:37
very nice composition...you must get your tallent from the city you live in...congr..
avigur_11 (22069) 2006-08-17 23:26
I hve alreadt saw poems on the wall in some places, but I never saw a poem on a SAAB's engine hood. This is a very original composition, so well captured. Wonderful sjot, Alex.
olgaperdi (69) 2009-09-01 8:00
Thi shot is absolutely amazing. One of the best I've seen here without a doubt. I've seen the wall poetry in Leiden, it was actually one of the things that called my attention the first time I went there.
This is a very smart picture, with great colours. Great job.
- Copyright: Alexander Pasternak (pasternak) (15177)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2006-07-03
- Categories: Artwork
- Camera: Canon PowerShot A95
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Reflections on the car, My reflections [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2006-08-10 5:48