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 Poema del Cante Jondo
From Poem of the Deep Song

El Paso de la Siguiriya

Entre mariposas negras,
va una muchacha morena
junto a una blanca serpiente
de niebla.

Tierra de luz,
cielo de tierra.

Va encadenada al temblor
de un ritmo que nunca llega;
tiene el corazón de plata
y un puñal en la diestra.

¿Adónde vas, siguiriya
con un ritmo sin cabeza?
¿Qué luna recogerá
tu dolor de cal y adelfa?

Tierra de luz,
cielo de tierra.

The Passing Stage of the Siguiriya

Among black butterflies
goes a dark-haired girl
next to a white serpent
of mist.

Earth of light,
sky of earth.

She is chained to the tremor
of a never arriving rhythm;
she has a heart of silver
and a dagger in her right hand.

Where are you going, siguiriya,
With such a headless rhythm?
What moon’ll gather up your pain
of whitewash and oleander?

Earth of light,
sky of earth.

Translated by Carlos Bauer, 1987