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Federico Garcia Lorca ( 1898 -1936 ): " Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias "

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Federico Garcia Lorca ( 1898 -1936 ): " Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias "
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Also the poems: The Weeping/ City That Does Not Sleep/ Ballad of the Moon

Garcia Lorca


Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) is considered Spain's greatest poet and dramatist of the 20th century, and the most famous victim of its civil war. Lorca was assassinated on the orders of the fascist dictator Franco . Lorca's approach to poetry combined traditional and modern forms and ideas. His struggle with his identity and the modern world permeates his work, and finds its most critically admired expression in Poet in New York.
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Anyway I just wanted to share a few verses by the poet Garcia Lorca & a tid bit or two about his life & work & his death .

Federico Garcia Lorca Writer Poet Artist
Martyr of the Spanish Civil War
1898 - 1936
http://www.geocities.com/

"Federico Garcia Lorca was one of the great Spanish writers and artists of the 20th Century. In his short lifetime he produced a wide variety of novels, short stories, poetry as well as paintings,drawings and even musical compositions.
He influenced such politically disparate artists as the poet Neruda and the painter Dali.
On August 19, 1936, at the age of 38, Lorca was beaten to death by Franco's falangists along with several other 'disappeared' political opponents of Franco.
While his homosexuality was known even then, his fascist assassins used this to make his assassination look like a bit of 'rough trade' gone wrong,(see Why Lorca Was Murdered) the real reason for his death was his outspoken defense of the Republic and his criticisms of monarchism, Catholicism and Fascism. "

And from MEMOIRS by Pablo Neruda ( 1904-1973 )Chilean poet & friend of Garcia Lorca :

“ Federico Garcia Lorca was not merely shot; he was assassinated. It would never have crossed anyone’s mind that they would kill him one day. He was the most loved, the most cherished, of all Spanish poets, and he was the closest to being a child, because of his marvelous happy temperament. Who could have believed there were monster on this earth, in his own Granada, capable of such an inconceivable crime? “ P. 125

Anyway here is one of Lorca's poems which I wish to share...


Federico Garcia Lorca

Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias

1. Cogida and death

At five in the afternoon.
It was exactly five in the afternoon.
A boy brought the white sheet
at five in the afternoon.
A frail of lime ready prepared
at five in the afternoon.
The rest was death, and death alone.

The wind carried away the cottonwool
at five in the afternoon.
And the oxide scattered crystal and nickel
at five in the afternoon.
Now the dove and the leopard wrestle
at five in the afternoon.
And a thigh with a desolated horn
at five in the afternoon.
The bass-string struck up
at five in the afternoon.
Arsenic bells and smoke
at five in the afternoon.
Groups of silence in the corners
at five in the afternoon.
And the bull alone with a high heart!
At five in the afternoon.
When the sweat of snow was coming
at five in the afternoon,
when the bull ring was covered with iodine
at five in the afternoon.
Death laid eggs in the wound
at five in the afternoon.
At five in the afternoon.
At five o'clock in the afternoon.

A coffin on wheels is his bed
at five in the afternoon.
Bones and flutes resound in his ears
at five in the afternoon.
Now the bull was bellowing through his forehead
at five in the afternoon.
The room was iridescent with agony
at five in the afternoon.
In the distance the gangrene now comes
at five in the afternoon.
Horn of the lily through green groins
at five in the afternoon.
The wounds were burning like suns
at five in the afternoon.
At five in the afternoon.
Ah, that fatal five in the afternoon!
It was five by all the clocks!
It was five in the shade of the afternoon!



2. The Spilled Blood

I will not see it!

Tell the moon to come,
for I do not want to see the blood
of Ignacio on the sand.

I will not see it!

The moon wide open.
Horse of still clouds,
and the grey bull ring of dreams
with willows in the barreras.

I will not see it!

Let my memory kindle!
Warm the jasmines
of such minute whiteness!

I will not see it!

The cow of the ancient world
passed had sad tongue
over a snout of blood
spilled on the sand,
and the bulls of Guisando,
partly death and partly stone,
bellowed like two centuries
sated with threading the earth.
No.
I will not see it!

Ignacio goes up the tiers
with all his death on his shoulders.
He sought for the dawn
but the dawn was no more.
He seeks for his confident profile
and the dream bewilders him
He sought for his beautiful body
and encountered his opened blood
Do not ask me to see it!
I do not want to hear it spurt
each time with less strength:
that spurt that illuminates
the tiers of seats, and spills
over the corduroy and the leather
of a thirsty multitude.
Who shouts that I should come near!
Do not ask me to see it!

His eyes did not close
when he saw the horns near,
but the terrible mothers
lifted their heads.
And across the ranches,
an air of secret voices rose,
shouting to celestial bulls,
herdsmen of pale mist.
There was no prince in Sevilla
who could compare to him,
nor sword like his sword
nor heart so true.
Like a river of lions
was his marvelous strength,
and like a marble torso
his firm drawn moderation.
The air of Andalusian Rome
gilded his head
where his smile was a spikenard
of wit and intelligence.
What a great torero in the ring!
What a good peasant in the sierra!
How gentle with the sheaves!
How hard with the spurs!
How tender with the dew!
How dazzling the fiesta!
How tremendous with the final
banderillas of darkness!

But now he sleeps without end.
Now the moss and the grass
open with sure fingers
the flower of his skull.
And now his blood comes out singing;
singing along marshes and meadows,
slides on frozen horns,
faltering soulless in the mist
stumbling over a thousand hoofs
like a long, dark, sad tongue,
to form a pool of agony
close to the starry Guadalquivir.
Oh, white wall of Spain!
Oh, black bull of sorrow!
Oh, hard blood of Ignacio!
Oh, nightingale of his veins!
No.
I will not see it!
No chalice can contain it,
no swallows can drink it,
no frost of light can cool it,
nor song nor deluge of white lilies,
no glass can cover it with silver.
No.
I will not see it!



3. The Laid Out Body

Stone is a forehead where dreams grieve
without curving waters and frozen cypresses.
Stone is a shoulder on which to bear Time
with trees formed of tears and ribbons and planets.

I have seen grey showers move towards the waves
raising their tender riddle arms,
to avoid being caught by lying stone
which loosens their limbs without soaking their blood.

For stone gathers seed and clouds,
skeleton larks and wolves of penumbra:
but yields not sounds nor crystals nor fire,
only bull rings and bull rings and more bull rings without walls.

Now, Ignacio the well born lies on the stone.
All is finished. What is happening! Contemplate his face:
death has covered him with pale sulphur
and has place on him the head of dark Minotaur.

All is finished. The rain penetrates his mouth.
The air, as if mad, leaves his sunken chest,
and Love, soaked through with tears of snow,
warms itself on the peak of the herd.

What are they saying? A stenching ( stinking?) silence settles down.
We are here with a body laid out which fades away,
with a pure shape which had nightingales
and we see it being filled with depth less holes.

Who creases the shroud? What he says is not true!
Nobody sings here, nobody weeps in the corner,
nobody pricks the spurs, nor terrifies the serpent.
Here I want nothing else but the round eyes
to see his body without a chance of rest.

Here I want to see those men of hard voice.
Those that break horses and dominate rivers;
those men of sonorous skeleton who sing
with a mouth full of sun and flint.

Here I want to see them. Before the stone.
Before this body with broken reins.
I want to know from them the way out
for this captain stripped down by death.

I want them to show me a lament like a river
which will have sweet mists and deep shores,
to take the body of Ignacio where it looses itself
without hearing the double planting of the bulls.

Loses itself in the round bull ring of the moon
which feigns in its youth a sad quiet bull,
loses itself in the night without song of fishes
and in the white thicket of frozen smoke.

I don't want to cover his face with handkerchiefs
that he may get used to the death he carries.
Go, Ignacio, feel not the hot bellowing
Sleep, fly, rest: even the sea dies!



4. Absent Soul

The bull does not know you, nor the fig tree,
nor the horses, nor the ants in your own house.
The child and the afternoon do not know you
because you have dead forever.

The shoulder of the stone does not know you
nor the black silk, where you are shuttered.
Your silent memory does not know you
because you have died forever

The autumn will come with small white snails,
misty grapes and clustered hills,
but no one will look into your eyes
because you have died forever.

Because you have died for ever,
like all the dead of the earth,
like all the dead who are forgotten
in a heap of lifeless dogs.

Nobody knows you. No. But I sing of you.
For posterity I sing of your profile and grace.
Of the signal maturity of your understanding.
Of your appetite for death and the taste of its mouth.
Of the sadness of your once valiant gaiety.

It will be a long time, if ever, before there is born
an Andalusian so true, so rich in adventure.
I sing of his elegance with words that groan,
and I remember a sad breeze through the olive trees.

The Weeping by Federico Garcia Lorca

I have shut my windows.
I do not want to hear the weeping.
But from behind the grey walls.
Nothing is heard but the weeping.

There are few angels that sing.
There are few dogs that bark.
A thousand violins fit in the palm of the hand.
But the weeping is an immense angel.
The weeping is an immense dog.
The weeping is an immense violin.
Tears strangle the wind.
Nothing is heard but the weeping.

Ballad of the Moon by Federico Garcia Lorca

The moon came into the forge
in her bustle of flowering nard.
The little boy stares at her, stares.
The boy is staring hard.
In the shaken air
the moon moves her amrs,
and shows lubricious and pure,
her breasts of hard tin.
"Moon, moon, moon, run!
If the gypsies come,
they will use your heart
to make white necklaces and rings."
"Let me dance, my little one.
When the gypsies come,
they'll find you on the anvil
with your lively eyes closed tight.
"Moon, moon, moon, run!
I can feelheir horses come."
"Let me be, my little one,
don't step on me, all starched and white!"

Closer comes the the horseman,
drumming on the plain.
The boy is in the forge;
his eyes are closed.
Through the olive grove
come the gypsies, dream and bronze,
their heads held high,
their hooded eyes.

Oh, how the night owl calls,
calling, calling from its tree!
The moon is climbing through the sky
with the child by the hand.

They are crying in the forge,
all the gypsies, shouting, crying.
The air is veiwing all, views all.
The air is at the viewing.

City That Does Not Sleep by Federico Garcia Lorca
In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins.
The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream,
and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the street corner
the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the
stars.

Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
In a graveyard far off there is a corpse
who has moaned for three years
because of a dry countryside on his knee;
and that boy they buried this morning cried so much
it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet.

Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful!
We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth
or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead
dahlias.
But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist;
flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths
in a thicket of new veins,
and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever
and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders.

One day
the horses will live in the saloons
and the enraged ants
will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the
eyes of cows.

Another day
we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead
and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats
we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue.
Careful! Be careful! Be careful!
The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm,
and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention of the bridge,
or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe,
we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes are waiting,
where the bear's teeth are waiting,
where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting,
and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder.

Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is sleeping.
If someone does close his eyes,
a whip, boys, a whip!
Let there be a landscape of open eyes
and bitter wounds on fire.
No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one.
I have said it before.

No one is sleeping.
But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the night,
open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight
the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

Websites of note :


Ben Harnett,s Home Page / Garcia Lorca

Garcia Lorca

Cyberspain Spain/ Federico Garcia Lorca

Federico Garcia Lorca/Martyr of the Spanish Civil War

SPANISH/Hispanic LITERATURE

POETS.ORG
from the Academy of American Poets


Abe.Books.com/Lorca

Famous Poets & Poems/ 34 Lorca’s poems in translation

Federico Garcia Lorca


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