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About this poet

Federico García Lorca is one of the most important Spanish poets and dramatists of the twentieth century. He was born June 5, 1898, in Fuente Vaqueros, a small town a few miles from Granada. His father, Federico García Rodríguez, was a landowner, and his mother, Vicenta Lorca Romero, was a teacher.

Lorca published his first book, Impresiones y Viajes, in 1919. That same year, he traveled to Madrid, where he remained for the next decade. His first full-length play, El Maleficio de la mariposa, was produced there in 1920. The next year, he published Libro de poemas, a compilation of poems based on Spanish folklore.

In 1922, Lorca and the composer Manuel de Falla organized the first cante jondo, or “deep song,” festival in Granada; the deep song form permeated his poems of the early 1920s. During this period, Lorca also became part of a group of artists known as Generación del 27, which included Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, who exposed the young poet to surrealism. In 1928, his poetry collection Romancero Gitano brought Lorca far-reaching fame; it was reprinted seven times during his lifetime.
 
In 1929 and 1930, Lorca traveled to New York City and Cuba. He returned to Spain in 1930 and, beginning in 1931, toured the country with the theater group La Barraca. He was arrested in Granada on August 16, 1936, near the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. He is believed to have been murdered by Fascist forces on August 18 or 19, 1936.


Selected Bibliography

Poetry
In Search of Duende (New Directions, 1998)
The Poetical Works of Federico García Lorca (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1988)
Impressions and Landscapes (University Press of America, 1987)
Poem of the Deep Song (City Light Books, 1987)
Songs (Duquesne University Press, 1976)
The Ballad of the Spanish Civil Guard (Janus Press, 1974)
Divan and Other Writings (Bonewhistle Press, 1974)
Tree of Song (Unicorn Press, 1971)
Selected Poems (New Directions, 1955)
The Gypsy Ballads (Indiana University Press, 1953)
The Poet in New York (W. W. Norton, 1940)
Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter and Other Poems (Oxford University Press, 1937)


Drama
Ill Tragedies: Blood Wedding, Yerma, Bernarda Alba (New Directions, 1947)
From Lorca’s Theatre: Five Plays of Federico García Lorca (C. Scribner’s Sons, 1941)

 

 

City That Does Not Sleep

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.

By Federico García Lorca, translated and edited by Robert Bly, and published by Beacon Press in Selected Poems: Lorca and Jiménez. © 1973 by Robert Bly. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

By Federico García Lorca, translated and edited by Robert Bly, and published by Beacon Press in Selected Poems: Lorca and Jiménez. © 1973 by Robert Bly. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca is one of the most important Spanish poets and dramatists of the twentieth century.

by this poet

poem
The little boy was looking for his voice.
(The king of the crickets had it.)
In a drop of water
the little boy was looking for his voice.

I do not want it for speaking with;
I will make a ring of it
so that he may wear my silence
on his little finger

In a drop of water
the little boy was looking for his voice
poem
The weeping of the guitar
begins.
The goblets of dawn
are smashed.
The weeping of the guitar
begins.
Useless
to silence it.
Impossible 
to silence it.
It weeps monotonously
as water weeps
as the wind weeps
over snowfields.
Impossible
to silence it.
It weeps for distant 
things.
Hot southern sands
yearning for
poem
In the parched path 
I have seen the good lizard 
(one drop of crocodile) 
meditating. 
With his green frock-coat 
of an abbot of the devil, 
his correct bearing 
and his stiff collar, 
he has the sad air 
of an old professor. 
Those faded eyes 
of a broken artist, 
how they watch the afternoon 
in dismay!

Is