Friday, March 9, 2012

Poetry for a Hopeful Photographer

I love poetry, travel, and photography; I wish I had more time in my life to explore all three on a deeper level! Often I feel as though my photography is sub-par, partly due to my run of the mill point and shoot camera, and partly due to my untrained eye. Poet Billy Collins provides some insight for me and all you other wanna be photographers:

The Unfortunate Traveler

Because I was off to France, I packed
my camera along with my shaving kit,
some colorful boxer shorts, and a sweater with a zipper,

but every time I tried to take a picture
of a bridge, a famous plaza,
or the bronze equestrian statue of a general,

there was a woman standing in front of me
taking a picture of the very same thing,
or the odd pedestrian blocked my view,

someone or something always getting between me
and the flying buttress, the river boat,
a bright cafe awning, an unexpected pillar.

So into the little door of the lens
came not the kiosk or the altarpiece.
No fresco or baptistry slipped by the quick shutter.

Instead, my memories of that glorious summer
of my youth are awakened now,
like an ember fanned into brightness,

by a shoulder, the back of a raincoat
a wide hat or towering hairdo
lost time miraculously recovered

by the buttons on a gendarme's coat
and my favorite,
the palm of that vigilant guard at the Louvre.

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