Arbolé, Arbolé . . .

Federico García Lorca

Translated by William Logan
 

(Skip to the original poem in Spanish)

Tree, tree
dry and green.
The girl with the pretty face
is out picking olives.
The wind, playboy of towers,
grabs her around the waist.
Four riders passed by
on Andalusian ponies,
with blue and green jackets
and big, dark capes.
"Come to Cordoba, muchacha."
The girl won't listen to them.
Three young bullfighters passed,
slender in the waist,
with jackets the color of oranges
and swords of ancient silver.
"Come to Sevilla, muchacha."
The girl won't listen to them.
When the afternoon had turned
dark brown, with scattered light,
a young man passed by, wearing
roses and myrtle of the moon.
"Come to Granada, muchacha."
And the girl won't listen to him.
The girl with the pretty face
keeps on picking olives
with the grey arm of the wind
wrapped around her waist.
Tree, tree
dry and green.

Arbolé, arbolé,
seco y verdí.
La niña del bello rostro
está cogiendo aceituna.
El viento, galán de torres,
la prende por la cintura.
Pasaron cuatro jinetes
sobre jacas andaluzas,
con trajes de azul y verde,
con largas capas oscuras.
"Vente a Córdoba, muchacha."
La niña no los escucha.
Pasaron tres torerillos
delgaditos de cintura,
con trajes color naranja
y espadas de plata antigua.
"Vente a Córdoba, muchacha."
La niña no los escucha.
Cuando la tarde se puso
morada, con lux difusa,
pasó un joven que llevaba
rosas y mirtos de luna.
"Vente a Granada, muchacha."
Y la niña no lo escucha.
La niña del bello rostro
sigue cogiendo aceituna,
con el brazo gris del viento
ceñido por la cintura.
Arbolé, arbolé.
Seco y verdé.
 
From The Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca, translated by William Logan. Published by New Directions, 1955. Used with permission.

Poems by This Author

City That Does Not Sleep by Federico García Lorca
In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody.
Gacela of the Dark Death by Federico García Lorca
I want to sleep the sleep of the apples,
Romance Sonambulo by Federico García Lorca
Green, how I want you green.
The Guitar by Federico García Lorca
The weeping of the guitar
The Little Mute Boy by Federico García Lorca
The little boy was looking for his voice
The Old Lizard by Federico García Lorca
In the parched path


Further Reading

Poems about Trees
A Poison Tree
by William Blake
Abandonment Under the Walnut Tree
by D. A. Powell
An Apple Gathering
by Christina Rossetti
Before the Snake
by Nathaniel Tarn
Birch
by Cynthia Zarin
Birches
by Robert Frost
Christmas Trees
by Robert Frost
Elders
by Louise Bogan
Gather
by Rose McLarney
Get Used To It
by Margaret Young
Goddess of Maple at Evening
by Chard deNiord
Hard Night
by Christian Wiman
How From Politeness to the Trees
by Cecily Parks
How to Uproot a Tree
by Jennifer K. Sweeney
If You Go into the Woods You Will Find It Has a Technology
by Heather Christle
In California During the Gulf War
by Denise Levertov
Leaves
by Lloyd Schwartz
Letter from Town: The Almond Tree
by D. H. Lawrence
Loveliest of Trees
by A. E. Housman
Man in Stream
by Rosanna Warren
Mountain Pines
by Robinson Jeffers
My Friend Tree
by Lorine Niedecker
My Lady Is Compared to a Young Tree
by Vachel Lindsay
Not Dead
by Robert Graves
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost
Orpheus
by William Shakespeare
Pear Tree
by H. D.
Russian Birch
by Nathaniel Bellows
Solstice
by Ellen Dudley
Song of the Trees
by Mary Colborne-Veel
The Apple Trees at Olema
by Robert Hass
The Branches
by Jean Valentine
The Bride Tree Can't Be Read
by Brenda Hillman
The Heart of the Tree
by Henry Cuyler Bunner
The Lemon Trees
by Eugenio Montale
The Life of Trees
by Dorianne Laux
The Mahogany Tree
by William Makepeace Thackeray
The Planting of the Apple-Tree
by William Cullen Bryant
The Poplar
by Richard Aldington
The Sound of the Trees
by Robert Frost
The Testing-Tree
by Stanley Kunitz
The Weight
by Linda Gregg
The Wishing Tree
by Kathleen Jamie
This Lime Tree Bower My Prison
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Trees
by Joyce Kilmer
Trees in the Garden
by D. H. Lawrence
Trees Need Not Walk the Earth
by David Rosenthal
Vantage
by Alan Shapiro
Vertical
by Linda Pastan
What Happened at the Service?
by Prageeta Sharma
When Autumn Came
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
White Trees
by Nathalie Handal
Willow
by Jane Shore
Winter Trees
by William Carlos Williams