Barcelona in my dreams: Reading

As promised, here is a video of me reading the poem ‘Barcelona in my dreams.’ It is by no means a professional reading or recording, but will hopefully give some idea of how the poem should sound.

Also please forgive my pronunciation of Spanish and Catalan words: we British are not renowned for being very good at ‘foreign’ accents! I am sharing this with dVerse Poets Pub for the live edition of Open Link Night, where we will be reading our poems.

The places in the poem

A lot of people commented that they had either been to Barcelona or would like to go, so here’s a quick tour of the places mentioned in the poem:

  • The Museu del Toro or La Monumental is Barcelona’s museum of bullfighting. Bullfighting was banned in Catalunya in 2016 (though the ban has since been overturned) and no bullfights have been held there since 2011. It is housed in a beautiful Art-deco arena which is now used for concerts and exhibitions. When we first moved to Barcelona we lived across the road from it.
  • Eixample is the district of Barcelona built in the late 19th century along a gridiron pattern and separated into residential blocks, ‘manzanas’ with rounded corners so coaches could travel easily through the streets in the area. You can find out more about it in this article: you may even recognise the author!
  • Las Golondrinas are the famous tourist boats which offer tours of the Port of Barcelona. I recommend taking a trip at sunset if you’re visiting Barcelona for the first time.
  • Las Ramblas/The Rambla is Barcelona’s most famous thoroughfare, but it’s normally overrun with tourists so escape into the hidden alleys of El Barri Gòtic while you have the chance! George Orwell describes gunfights in the area during the Civil War in his book Homage to Catalunya.
  • Santa Maria del Mar is a beautiful Gothic church in Barcelona’s old town. It doesn’t look very imposting from the outside but the interior is breathtaking. If you also visit Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia, you can see that the architect took inspiration from this earlier church.
  • Parc de la Ciutadella is Barcelona’s main park which was built on the location of Philip V’s infamous citadel, erected after the conquest of Barcelona during the War of Spanish Succession in 1714.
  • Barceloneta is the city’s fishing district which has been taken over by tourist accomadation. La Cova Fumada is a small seafood restaurant where the fish is so fresh they don’t even have a refrigerator: they cook and serve everything fresh on the day. They are only open at lunchtimes.
  • Passeig de Gracia is Barcelona’s answer to London’s Bond Street: a broad avenue lined with designer shops and home of two of famous Gaudi’s most famous buildings.
  • La Manzana de La Discordia is a play on words: it is a discordant block of buildings (of which one is Gaudi’s Casa Batlló) and it is also the apple which led to the fall of mankind.
  • Casa Batlló is Gaudi’s ‘House of Bones’ – the bars of the windows are shaped like bones and the roof is tiled with the scales of a serpent. Well worth a visit, though book ahead to avoid the queues.
  • La Pedrera, ‘the Quarry’ is another famous Gaudi building also on the Passeig de Gracia. To my mind the iconic figures on the rooftop (see Featured Image) look like chess pieces. George Lucas allegedly took inspiration from them for his storm troopers in Star Wars.

These are just a few of the highlights of Barcelona. I have missed out many of my favourites. So perhaps I need to write some more stanzas, but I think I’ll save these for a later publication…

47 thoughts on “Barcelona in my dreams: Reading

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  1. Great to hear your tour of Barcelona. Your fondness is apparent in the way you read it and thanks for sharing the additional information on the areas you included in the poem.

    1. Thank you Lisa, its my pleasure. I used to write for a blog on Barcelona and they didn’t pay very well but they taught me to use WordPress so with hindsight that was probably payment enough 😅

  2. I enjoyed this poem so much when I read it but listening it here imbued it with the memories and longing in your own voice, which I sometimes have trouble hearing on the live link due to strange background noises that gather across the miles. Love it!

    1. Thank you Kim 🙏 I do enjoy these live events but I thought I’d put the video up because I think this poem is better heard than read.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your reading with all of us Ingrid. It was so fun to see and hear you live. I is such a beautiful poem and you looked so comfortable despite how you might have felt. I love your voice and your nostalgia and passion for such beloved memories your heart holds of his special jewel. 💖❤️🤗

  4. Bloody hell that’s so good. And very well read. Been to Barcelona once years ago. Got very, very, very drunk but still remember a few places.

      1. I was 18 and nuts! There’s a picture of me somewhere near the nou camp covered on my own sick. Not a very good look to be honest. But that place is a beautiful city.

      1. Well don’t be ‘cuz as far as I can tell you’ve got a very nice voice which I’d love to hear more!
        and after listening to you I got an idea of reciting my poem about Bhopal, in this same nostalgic tone, dunno I can pull it off as well as you have but I’ll give it a try 😅

      2. Oh please do! I could’ve spent all day trying to perfect it but I had 5 mints without screaming kids in the background so this is the best I could do…

  5. Hi Ingrid, it’s Sunday lunchtime here in Geelong, and finally I have time to relax and watch your video… and already played your recital twice…And I enjoyed listening to you, and Barcelona sounds like a wondrous city… Haha …one day I might have a go at doing a live YouTube video…..😎

    1. Haha, thanks for watching! I’m afraid the lightning conditions were terrible and I just recorded it on my laptop when the kids were out of the house for 5 minutes 😅

  6. I really enjoyed hearing you read this, Ingrid! The poem is much more impactful and mesmerizing when spoken. I find I prefer when a poem is read aloud, you get to hear so many nuances the author weaves in their words and perhaps what it means to them from within their tone and portrayal of words. Such a beautiful poem itself–made even more impactful and wondrous.

    The descriptions you provided below was like reading a bit of history. If I ever head to Barcelona, this is the first thing I’m going to whip out! 😁

  7. I’ve never been there, but you certainly make me want to see this city. I’m sorry I missed the live event this time, so I’m glad I got to hear you read this poem here!

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