Federico Garcia Lorca

Federico Garcia Lorca

1898-1936
Fuente Vaqueros,
Granada, Spain

Federico Garcia Lorca is Spain’s most deeply revered poet, playright and dramatist of the 20th century.

Lorca home marker

Federico was born near Granada in 1898 and was deeply influenced by the rich heritage of the Moors and the gypsy culture of southern Spain’s Andalusia region. At the age of twenty-one, he moved to Madrid and became associated with the group of artists known as the Generation of ‘27 which included Salvador Dali, Luis Buñuel & poet Rafael Alberti. Lorca and the composer, Manuel de Falla organized the Fiesta del Cante Jondo in Granada in 1922.

Lorca traveled to New York in June 1929 and wrote his famous book, Poeta en Nueva York. Upon his return to Spain, Lorca organized a traveling theater group called “La Barraca” and they toured the country side during 1932—1933 offering free performances. During this period, his company produced three tragedies: Blood Wedding, Yerma and the House of Bernarda Alba which solidified Lorca’s place as a literary genius.

Moved by the fatal goring of his friend the Matador Ignacio Sanchez Mejias in 1934, Lorca wrote the extraordinary Lament in his memory. Part I entitled La cogida y la muerte (The Goring & the Death) includes the haunting phrase, a las cinco de la tarde.

Lorca was arrested during the Spanish Civil War for being a dangerous intellectual and executed in Granada on August 19, 1936. His body was dumped into a mass grave, and afterwards Lorca’s writings were outlawed and burned in Granada’s Plaza. Even his name was forbidden.

Federico Garcia Lorca is the inspiration for our programs taking the power of the spoken word to share experiences of love, humanity, honor, death and reminiscences.

De Sonetos Del Amor Oscuro
From Sonnets of Dark Love

El poeta pide a su amor que le escriba

Amor de mis entrañas, viva muerte,
en vano espero tu palabra escrita
y pienso con la flor que se marchita,
que si vivo sin mí, quiero perderte.

El aire es inmortal; la piedra inerte
ni conoce la sombra, ni la evita.
Corazón interior no necesita
la miel helada que la luna vierte.

Pero yo te sufrí; rasgué mis venas,
tigre y paloma, sobre tu cintura
en duelo de mordiscos y azucenas.

Llena pues de palabras mi locura
o déjame vivir en mi serena
noche del alma para siempre oscura..

The Poet Asks His Love to Write Him

O love of my heart, living death,
in vain I await your written word,
and think, with the withered flower: if I
must live without myself, I wish to lose you.

Air is immortal. The lifeless stone
can neither know the shadow nor avoid it.
And the inner heart doesn’t need
the frozen honey flowing from the moon.

But I suffered you, tore open my veins,
tiger and dove on your waist,
caught in a duel of lilies and bites.

Fill, then, with words my madness,
or let me live in the serene,
eternal dark night of the soul.

Translated by John K. Walsh & Francisco Aragon