Two Years!

On March 1st we celebrated our two-year anniversary. As has become a tradition, we mark each new year with a new template design for the site. Let us know what you think of the design for our third year!

The photo in the header was taken by Rob Taylor at Ussher Fort in Accra.


Anonymous said...


I love the design, the coolness of the background colour is such a contrast to the previous one.
I was born in Old Accra, near where you took that picture, and I've always hated the fact that the government of Ghana uses these former slave castles as prisons. It's such an insult to the memory of Africa's slave past( this is my favourite complaint). Some years ago, they decided to turn Ussher Fort into a museum of sorts. I took the time to visit it, and came out cursing. Instead of stories about slavery, they had put on arts and crafts displays. I don't know what's happened to it now(the fort, I mean).

Back, to the picture. If you try hard, I guess you can say the broken bottles look like birds perching, and in fact they remind me of the gulls around that part of town. I can still hear them in my head even right now.

The barbed wire set against the expanse of blue sky is a comment on freedom and tyranny. However high it pounces, it cannot reach the sky, it will not puncture the horizon.

Kajsa Hallberg Adu said...

I must say the picture is a disappointment when it comes to representing Ghana. Barb wire and glass? The fotball in the corner is more like it, in my humble and optimistic opinion!

Keep the poetry coming for at least another 2 years!

daniela elza said...

The picture strikes a chord with me. I like that the barbed wire is broken. Gives me hope. Maybe that is where poetry breaks through that which is trying to confine us. A certain tension between the spirit of play and the sharp edges of rules which makes me want to write a poem:-).

Anonymous said...


I'm not surprised that the picture makes you want to write a poem, I've already set myself an exercise. The image itself says a lot about the chaos that is Old Accra, however it can be applied to anything, and it reminds me of home. In a way every viewer brings his/her own subjectivity to an image.

Anonymous said...

Riviting--pic--and a sudden thought---it all depends--which side of the wall--you are--inside or outside----Zilverzorro.

Darko Antwi said...

I beg to say that the wire is torny and quite messy. The broken sharp glasses atop the heap of decaying srambbled slabs are depressive, if not an enticing charm or otherwise. Rob's interpretation may be a better correction to my perception. (This new picture coincided with Julian's lamentation. And Oh, how sad I felt as I read the poem)

Darko Antwi said...

In simple terms, the picture lacks inspiration. Please make a revision if you can, Rob.

Rob Taylor said...

Thank you for your comments, all.

It certainly is a more complicated, perhaps more controversial, photo than
previous years.

My attraction to it, though, is just that: that it is complicated. Following on our latest roundtable discussion I feel a sense that our writers and readers are wanting to take a leap forward: to say (and read) more complicated things in more sophisticated ways.

I hoped when I posted the photo that somehow it might add to such developments, and it looks like it is already spurring writing from LS and Daniela!

As for my interpretation, Darko, I agree with most everything everyone has said: I find it both hopeful and a bit depressing. I feel it suggests both the past (the crumbling fort) and the future (the football, the favourite passtime of youth), oppression (the barbed wire) and redemption (the fact that the wire has been broken). I think it can mean all these things and many more, and it's up to the individual viewer to decide which to take away from it.

To me, that is how many good poems function, as well - they open to many different, often conflicting interpretations, but with all those interprestations still being equally real and present in the poem.

That said, if you think another photo or another type of photo would suit the site better, our plan is to run a photo contest to choose the photo for next year's template - so get snapping!

Anonymous said...

Seems that pic,so to speak,went to the wire,caused a trifle of creative commotion Rob--but as John Lennon said nothing like throwing a Spaniard in the works to get things moving---Silverzorro.

Unknown said...

What is the significance of the picture in relation to poetry in general ... i wonder the correllation, left alone, for it merrit its purpose.

Unknown said...

the purple background gives the site a prestigious aura as purple is the colour of royals. nevertheless, OGOV can make the website more resplendent by spicing it up with a variety of colours. this monochrome background begins to look bland and boring when you visit the site over and over. let's have something to wear off the monotony; a surprise to look forward to.

the picture talks to the state of poetry in Ghana - imprisoned but yearning to break free. the football seems to make an analogy between Ghana's love for the game and the numerous aficionados who visit this website time after time.

Rob Taylor said...

I suppose this speaks to some of the difficulties of discussing layouts - The background colour is meant to be a sky blue, which is how it displays for me.

I really do appreciate the compliments and critiques, and will consider them all for next year's design (and, as mentioned, we'll be using a photo from a reader for the banner through an open photo contest!).