Thursday Inspiration: España edition

by Esther Emery

From Federico García Lorca, that passion-drenched, life-rich, desire-wracked poet of Spain. We theatre types know him for plays like Blood Wedding and The House of Bernarda Alba, although he would have preferred to be known for two surrealist masterpieces that I can never remember by name.  He died at the hands of the Fascists in the Spanish civil war in 1936. It is said that he was forced to dig his own grave, and also forced to write a note to his father asking him to donate money to the army.  His father kept the note in his wallet as a remembrance.  Lorca’s poems fairly drip with life and love and desire for life and love.  Here is one of my favorites. 

Gacela of Unexpected Love, translated by A. S. Kline.

No one understood the perfume
of the shadow magnolia of your belly.
No one knew you crushed completely
a human bird of love between your teeth.

There slept a thousand little persian horses
in the moonlight plaza of your forehead,
while, for four nights, I embraced there
your waist, the enemy of snowfall.

Between the plaster and the jasmines,
your gaze was a pale branch, seeding.
I tried to give you, in my breastbone,
the ivory letters that say ever.

Ever, ever: garden of my torture,
your body, flies from me forever,
the blood of your veins is in my mouth now,
already light-free for my death.

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