Searching for a snowflake in Barcelona might at first seem a strange, if not impossible, thing to do. Yet that is exactly what the ever popular poet Billy Collins attempted many years ago. Snowflake was the worlds only known albino gorilla and he resided at Barcelona Zoo. Collins writes the poem about Snowflake entitled Searching. In the poem as it is printed in Collins book Ballistics, (published 2008) he gives Snowflake a female gender, yet the same poem printed in The Atlantic in 2010 Snowflake is a “he” which in fact he was. Snowflake lived from 1966 until 2003. As I write this post today the temperature outside is hovering around 100F/37C. and with humidity it feels more like 109F/43C. Oh for a snowflake! Enjoy the poem. I wonder what within you keeps you searching? And for what?

Searching       by Billy Collins

I recall someone once admitting
that all he remembered of Anna Karenina
was something about a picnic basket,

and now, after consuming a book
devoted to the subject of Barcelona–
its people, its history, its complex architecture–

all I remember is the mention
of an albino gorilla, the inhabitant of a park
where the Citadel of the Bourbons once stood.

The sheer paleness of her looms over
all the notable names and dates
as the evening strollers stop before her

and point to show their children.
These locals called her Snowflake,
and here she has been mentioned again in print

in the hope of keeping her pallid flame alive
and helping her, despite her name, to endure
in this poem, where she has found another cage.

Oh, Snowflake,
I had no interest in the capital of Catalonia–
its people, its history, its complex architecture–

no, you were the reason
I kept my light on late into the night,
turning all those pages, searching for you everywhere.

From the flowing of the tide
To its ebbing
From the waxing of life
To its waning
Of your Peace provide us
Of your light lead us
Of your goodness give us
Of your Grace grant us
Of your Power protect us
Of your Love lift us
And in your Arms accept us
From the webbing of the tide
To its flowing
From the waning of life
To its waxing. Amen (David Adam)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: