Does the fresh smell of spring and the renewed warmth of the sun ever make you think of poetry?
Did you know Billy Collins (two time Poet Laureate) is Smithsonian’s poetry consultant? In a recent posting in the Arts and Culture section of their online magazine, Billy Collins wrote a wonderful poem (below) describing a traveler’s anguish with a camera.
But on our Smithsonian Family Adventure in Photography you’ll have help! With a professional photographer and all kinds of support traveling with you, every one of you can be sure to take home photos like you’ve never done before, along with a lifetime of memories from your family safari.
Meanwhile, for more Billy Collins to lighten and brighten your day, you’ll find it all here.
The Unfortunate Traveler by Billy Collins
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 café 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.