Sunday, August 10, 2014

Federico Garcia Lorca - Poetry

Another new poem and poet for me.  Maybe I'll go back and count, but this seems more common with the newer poems in the book.  This poem is by Federico Garcia Lorca.  The title is 'Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias' and what I have is a translation from Spanish.

The bull does not know you, nor the fig tree,
nor horses, nor the ants on your floors.
The child does not know you, nor the evening,
because your death is forever.

The saddleback of rock does not know you,
nor the black satin where you tore apart.
Your silent recollection does not know you
because your death is forever.

Autumn will return bringing snails,
misted-over grapes, and clustered mountains,
but none will wish to gaze in your eyes
because your death is forever.

Because your death is forever;
Like everyone's who ever died on Earth,
like all dead bodies discarded
on rubbish heaps with mongrels' corpses.

No one knows you. No one. But I sing you -
sing your profile and your grace, for later on.
The signal ripeness of your mastery.
The way you sought death out, savored its taste.
The sadness just beneath your gay valor.

Not soon, if ever; will Andalusia see
so towering a man, so venturesome.
I sing his elegance with words that moan
and remember a sad breeze in the olive groves.

Well.  That's a heavy poem and a strong lament.  It would help us if we knew how Ignacio Sanchez Mejias was.  But let me look at the poem before I bring Google to bear.
Someone has died and, as we're repeatedly reminded, death is forever.  No one knows the person.  No thing knows the person.  The body has been discarded and will soon disappear like rubbish.  The only lament (or certainly the most important!) is the one given here by Senor Lorca.
Lorca honors the man.  He 'sought death out, savored its taste'.  He was sad but valorous.  He was towering and venturesome.  This lament has made the poet so sad that he can only moan and remember the past.  This is the lament of a lover, right?  A lover talking about his fallen love, that no one will love as much as he does.
A quick look at his Wikipedia page suggests that I'm right.  A Google search tells me that this is the fourth part of a longer poem.  The full work is here.  The rest of it is also passionate and very, very sad.
This is a very touching piece.

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