On the occasion of the 124th anniversary of the birth of Federico García Lorca, born on June 5, 1898
Federico García Lorca is the most notable Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director of the 20th century. He is well known for his poetry as well as his plays. His work has been translated into many languages around the world and he has been called “one of the most important poets of the twentieth century”.
He was born in 1898 in Andalusia, southern Spain. Lorca’s family moved to Granada when he was still a child. He studied at the University of Granada where he became friends with Jorge Guillén and Salvador Dalí. In 1922, he went to Madrid to study law but dropped out one year later to focus on writing poetry and going to the theatre instead.
Lorca’s early poems are influenced by Spanish folk music and nature imagery. His later works are more erotic and inspired by his tumultuous loving relationships with fellow artists.
The most important poet of the Generation of 1927 group and one of the most famous and influential Spanish poets, García Lorca is also famous for his political commitment in the period of turmoil that led to the civil war in Spain. He ended up being one of the victims of the violence of the nationalists, who arrested and murdered him in August 1936. His body has never been found.
The themes of his poetry are inspired by the gypsy and Arab world of southern Spain, by the turbulent emotional experiences of his private life and the relationship with a wild and mysterious nature.
His artistic body includes not only poetry, but also plays, scripts and visual arts, often in collaboration with other artists of his time such as Salvador Dalí, Manuel de Falla and Luis Buñuel.
Poems by Federico García Lorca, from his lesser-known collections, have been published on this blog, in original text, with translation into English, French and Italian:
Primer romancero gitano (1928) – First gypsy romance – The project of writing a series of romances about the gypsy and Andalusian world matures in the creativity of García Lorca during the summer of 1924, taking the gypsies as the starting point of this poetics.
Diván del Tamarit (1931-34): Tamarit’s Couch is a collection of poems, under the name of “casidas” and “gacelas”, in tribute to the Arab poets of Granada.
- I – Gacela del amor imprevisto
- II – Gacela de la terrible presencia
- III – Gacela del amor desesperado
- I – Casida del herido por el agua
Sonetos del amor oscuro (1936): The Sonnets of Dark Love, or simply Sonnets, is a collection of poems written during the last years of Federico García Lorca’s life, inspired by some tumultuous love affairs of the poet, which have been collected and published posthumously.
- Ay voz secreta del amor oscuro
- El poeta dice la verdad
- Llagas de amor
- Noche del amor insomne
- Soneto de la carta
- Soneto de la dulce queja
- Soneto de la guirnalda
- Soneto gongorino
- El poeta pregunta a su amor
- El poeta habla por telefono con su amor
Essential bibliographic reference:
- Fundación Federico García Lorca
- Complete works
- Federico García Lorca’s entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica
- Audio recordings of works by Federico García Lorca
- Lorca’s poems in translation
One of García Lorca’s most famous poems, Romance de la luna, luna, is interpreted as a song by Carmen Paris, with music by Madredeus in this YouTube video.
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