i think i felt the catalanian heart beat

i’ m not sure if there’s a poem,
one that stays with me
and does this city justice–

someone said Miró
helped us understand,
this world is made of instability & beauty,
things that last, only for so long and–

who can tell what comes
next, standing

in the nave of the cathedral where
Antoni Gaudí poured
forty three years of his life
to make these stone walls talk,
then died in the streets of Barcelona,
in an accident, knocked over
by a tram, clothed in rags,
they didn’t recognize him &

i weep for all the dreams
that might never come true,

a woman on the bus is blind,
eyes closed behind dark glasses,
fingers trace the buttons on the pole,

i feel her concentration, gently
focused on the next stop, next step,
period– there’s dignity

in every move of
an old trashman as he empties
bins by hand &

i sit on the stone steps on
Placa de Josep Oriol,
a homeless, bent, felted beard,
asks people in the street cafés for coins,

a handsome guy with long braids
swings a rope between two sticks,
conjures soapy bubbles
& in seconds–



they’re gone–

leaving nothing but
glistening rainbow droplets
in the blond curls
of a little catalanian girl


a bit of a capture of my time here in Barcelona, will fly back tonight and visit back as soon as possible… linking up with dVerse where OpenLinkNight goes up at 3pm EST


73 responses to “i think i felt the catalanian heart beat

  1. … want to be there with you … and on to Rome … and then on to Athen … and then in to Istanbul … how about it, C … Love, cat.

  2. Fabulous imagery all through this. You paint in words what artists paint in pictures. So vivid in descriptions I could see everything so clearly.
    A truly wonderful write. Have a good flight home.

  3. I love the way you captured the flavor of the city by the details you included, Claudia! Writing poetry is a wonderful way to preserve memories.

  4. It’s odd how in your thoughtful voice even the quite awful things- Gaudi’s death – is tinged with a kind of charm. I don’t mean that you diminish the bad, but make them part of a bigger whole. k.

  5. That is an incredibly beautiful poem …. Gaudi, Miro people who have left an amazing mark on life … Barcelona, one of my favourite places …. your words are a painting.

  6. Geez you fly all over the place and tell it at a steady pace, makes me jealous now, guess I’ll have to hop another plane soon.

  7. I feel like I just peeked into your camera and saw pictures of your trip. I’m glad you’re enjoying your trip. Sounds like you have connected with the heart of the city.

  8. this is filled with gorgeous imagery claudia…esp of the people, which to me is what makes a city come alive…how different it would be without them…travel light on the way home smiles…and thanks for taking us along…

  9. Many fine pictures drawn here. I especially like the fleeting bubbles that disappear. You’re very right…we must always be watching, seeing. Very nice work.

  10. i weep for all the dreams/that might never come true

    I see your heart so clearly in this…but maybe it’s just not their turn in this go round…wheel turnin’ round and round.

  11. What a picture you paint! How you bring me in on your journey, bright spots and rainbows hover over your words, and the torn fragments of lives ring through them. So effortlessly written, fluid and beautiful.

  12. oh, there was a poem… what poignant beauty you mapped out here… a city rich in love and life and everything in between…

    “i weep for all the dreams
    that might never come true,”


  13. “this world is made of instability & beauty…” … I think that about says it all. I love how you see & express the deeper meanings of everyday occurences, Claudia.

  14. we seems to see cities the same way..through the people and places in them as lines of poetry…excellent capture of one of the world’s most interesting cities. your words bring it alive.

  15. Brilliant imagery, really took me there watching and seeing. I love that second stanza…”this world is made of instability & beauty,
    things that last, only for so long and–”

  16. Thanks for describing such a personal journey ~ many times we simply never take time to see people especially the homeless or the heartbreaks of poverty. ‘things change ~ doesn’t stay the same or last’ ~ but in our shared humanity we become part of a whole & human spirit can inspire! Thanks for your wonderful write!

  17. Claudia, I love your travelogues because they’re also about people. You see their beauty and their dignity. This was lovely. I wish I was there having you point out what to look for. 🙂

  18. The fleeting quality of dreams and beauty utilizing a city of Gaudi dream structure …and the dignity and tragedy of the poor, the afflicted. Where better than in this dream city of Barcelona, one of my favorite cities on Earth. Your travelogues are always original and interesting. Thank you, again!

  19. This poem left me standing on that Barcelonian streetcorner where the drops glistened in that little girl’s hair and the beauties of that cathedral cloud around my mind’s eye and lift my soul in proper Catalonian rhythms!

  20. You have captured the excitement of Barcelona and Catalunia wonderfully well. The Temple of the Sagrada Familia will probably never be finished, but is an uplifting experience to visit in it’s present, evolving state. Your poem honours Gaudi and his city.

  21. If anyone can feel a heart beat, it’s you Claudia. 🙂 I’ve never been to Spain, alas. Must go sometime. Lovely images here, and ephemeral quality. – I like this one very much. 🙂

  22. Outstanding observations Claudia, beautifully described. I’ve always wanted to visit Barcelona, been one of the places to definitely see on my bucket list for years now.

  23. “instability & beauty”
    Past and present walk past “plop plop plop” ah.
    I’ve never been there, but I am sure, with this guide, I could find the spot!

  24. an old trashman, emptying bins by hand. I think i saw him there. love this poem and all that it recalls for me of Spainish cities. brilliant. ~jane

  25. Vivid and mesmerizing. The most striking image for me was the blind woman thumbing the pole to find the buttons for the next stop. A metaphor for the traveler, you – almost lost in a new world, but not completely, finding their way by intuition and sense to the next destination.

  26. I’ve only had the Latin experience, so thanks for making Barcelona come alive with such intimacy and detail. The sightless woman, and especially Gaudi – I didn’t know that’s how he met his demise. So wrong, iike when my tee-total aunt got hit by a beer truck. Thank you for sharing this, especially at dverse. Don’t sweat the visits to other blogs, Claudia… this is gift enough. Amy

  27. Gaudi is at the heart of this lively city and his buildings give it a lovely earthiness and energy that I found amazing. Sad when compared to his too early death. I liked this, Claudia!

  28. oh, this was wonderful, there’s so much go detail for your my mind to draw a picture of what’s going. That they telling of this is almost perfect.

  29. I love to hear about your travels through your poetry, I could almost be sitting next to you at a street cafe in Barcelona watching the world and a cast of interesting characters roll by. Thanks for sharing.

  30. This is gorgeously beautiful. You bring all of your sensual insight into the everyday, and here we see the deepness that your care for the world and its inhabitants goes. I love Gaudi, I love Miro, and to see them literally reflected in your lovely poem makes me sing un unison with your discovery of this city’s bigger soul. Lovely.

  31. thanks Claudia for sharing some of your trip to the wonderful Barcelona – so much is here in your words and that last line of the iittle catalan girl – sublime – made my eyes sparkle – hope you’re having a great time x x hugs Lib

  32. “I weep for all the dreams”
    Wow, there Claudia! This is so heartfelt and poignantly drawn. Each detail brings us so close, so vividly in this city. Yes Yes ! You paint for us the dark and the light, the tragic and the lilting bubbles. Beautiful.

  33. As always, I have enjoyed your poem, especially how it shifts from person to persons, each unique and often overlooked. That is what makes a city.

  34. How delightful that you’ve been in Barcelona! Next year I will be living and studying in Spain for 12 months. I’m frightened but hugely excited! Thanks for weaving some words about Spain…felt like they were just for me!

  35. I so connect with this on some level, Claudia, as part of my father’s family on his father’s side are from Catalan. My last name is Catalanian and I treasure it as a distant relative from there was a writer of short stories and poetry. But you have told me so much in your words that I do not know and it certainly makes me want to know more of this beautiful provence in Spain. Love this write, most certainly.

  36. What a superbly written and crafted poem. Speaks louder, and more colourfully than any travelogue.