28 January 2006

Poem Seven: The Street Dogs of Boyle

Poem seven("Things I Didn't Know I Loved") takes its structure from a poem, with the same title, written by Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet. It's a poem I've always admired and it talks about the way things sneak up on us and become somehow important. It isn't until we cast the light of our attention upon them that we even know they are there or that they mean anything to us.

I'll post the poem in its entirety in the next posting, but the first two lines of my poem are "I didn't know I loved the street dogs of Boyle/ every one, equal parts scruffed-up and old-souled."

One of the guys at Silverstone, the sign shop in Dublin where I make the staircase signs, read it and said, "We've all got problems Alice, and I think you need help!" Yes. But, the street dogs of Boyle are really something! Over the years as I've passed through the town, I've always noticed the high number of street-wise, scruffed up canines there: non-pedigree, super-mongrel, who pad the sidewalks slowly as if they owned the town. And maybe they do. I saw a Dalmatian in Carrick the other day. I have seen no Dalmations in Boyle.

In fact, I think someone could make a mint if they put together a high-production-values calendar, "The Street Dogs of Boyle" for the Irish-American tourist market. Sure thing. ("The Drunks of Drumshanbo" is another calendar concept, but more problematic.)

I went round Boyle this morning with my camera so I could post a photo of one of these pooches, so you can see what I'm talking about. Not a runner. Cold morning here, and the dogs must be in their sheds or beside their Stanleys and who could blame them?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Street Dogs of Boyle - a glorious title - let’s hope the calendar happens.

Congrats on the Project, I really enjoyed reading it - hope to see some elements of it when next in the North-East.

9:42 p.m.  

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