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Federico García Lorca

García Lorca in 1914.
Born 5 June 1898(1898-06-05)
Fuente Vaqueros, Granada, Andalucía, Spain
Died 19 August 1936 (aged 38)
Near Alfacar, Granada, Andalucía, Spain
Occupation dramatist, poet, theatre director
Nationality Spanish
Period Modernism

Federico García Lorca (Spanish pronunciation: [feðeˈɾiko ɣarˈθia ˈlorka]) (5 June 1898 – 19 August 1936) was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27. He is thought to be one of the many thousands who were 'disappeared' and executed by Nationalists at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War [1][2][3]. In 2008, a Spanish judge opened an investigation into Lorca's death. Lorca's family dropped objections to the excavation of a possible gravesite near Alfacar[4] but no human remains were found.[5]



García Lorca was born on 5 June 1898, in Fuente Vaqueros, a small town a few miles from Granada in Spain. His father owned a farm in the fertile vega surrounding Granada and a comfortable villa in the heart of the city. His mother was a gifted pianist. In 1909, his family moved to the city of Granada. In 1915, after graduating from secondary school, García Lorca attended Sacred Heart University. During this time his studies included law, literature, composition and piano. During 1916 and 1917, García Lorca traveled throughout Castile, Léon, and Galicia, in northern Spain, with a professor of his university, who also encouraged him to write his first book, Impresiones y Paisajes (Impressions and Landscapes – published 1918).

Statue of Lorca in the Plaza de Santa Ana, Madrid

As a young writer

His time at Granada's Arts Club furnished him with influential associations that would prove useful following his move, in 1919, to the Residencia de estudiantes in Madrid. Here he would befriend Manuel de Falla, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí and many other creative artists who were, or would become, influential across Spain. In Madrid, he met Gregorio Martínez Sierra, the Director of Madrid's Teatro Eslava. In 1919–20, at Sierra's invitation, he wrote and staged his first play, El maleficio de la mariposa . It was a verse play dramatising the impossible love between a cockroach and a butterfly, with a supporting cast of other insects; it was laughed off stage by an unappreciative public after only four performances and influenced García Lorca's attitude to the theatre-going public for the rest of his career. He would later claim that Mariana Pineda, written in 1927, was, in fact, his first play.

Over the next few years García Lorca became increasingly involved in Spain's avant-garde. He published poetry collections including Canciones (Songs) and Romancero Gitano (translated as Gypsy Ballads, 1928), his best known book of poetry. The poem Romance Sonambulo (Ballad of the Sleepwalker), the begins with the refrain:

Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.
With the shade around her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, her hair green,
with eyes of cold silver.
Green, how I want you green…

Verde que te quiero verde.
Verde viento. Verdes ramas.
El barco sobre la mar
y el caballo en la montaña.
Con la sombra en la cintura
ella sueña en su baranda,
verde carne, pelo verde,
con ojos de fría plata.
Verde que te quiero verde…

His second play Mariana Pineda, with stage settings by Dalí, opened to great acclaim in Barcelona in 1927. In 1926, García Lorca wrote the play The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife which would not be shown until the early 1930s. It was a farce about fantasy, based on the relationship between a flirtatious, petulant wife and a hen-pecked shoemaker.

From 1925 to 1928 he was passionately involved with Salvador Dalí.[6] The friendship with Lorca had a strong element of mutual passion,[7] but Dalí rejected the erotic advances of the poet.[8] Towards the end of the 1920s, García Lorca became increasingly depressed, a situation exacerbated by his anguish over his homosexuality. The success of Romancero Gitano intensified a painful and personal dichotomy : he was trapped between the persona of the successful author, which he was forced to maintain in public, and the tortured, authentic self, which he could only acknowledge in private.

Growing estrangement between García Lorca and his closest friends reached its climax when surrealists Dalí and Luis Buñuel collaborated on their 1929 film Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog). García Lorca interpreted it, perhaps erroneously, as a vicious attack upon himself and the film ended García Lorca's affair with Dalí. At this time Dalí also met his future wife Gala. His intensely passionate but fatally one-sided affair with the sculptor Emilio Aladrén was also collapsing as the latter became involved with his future wife. Aware of these problems (though not perhaps of their causes), García Lorca's family arranged for him to take a lengthy visit to the United States in 1929–30.

While in America, García Lorca stayed mostly in New York City, where he studied briefly at Columbia University School of General Studies. His collection Poeta en Nueva York explores alienation and isolation through some graphically experimental poetic techniques. His Play El Público (The Public) was not published until the late 1970s and has never been published in its entirety (the manuscript is lost).

Lorca kept Huerta de San Vicente as his summer house in Granada from 1926 to 1936. Here he wrote, totally or in part, some of his major works, among them When Five Years Pass (Así que pasen cinco años (1931), Blood Wedding (Bodas de sangre) (1932), Yerma (1934) and Diván del Tamarit (1931–1936). The poet lived in the Huerta de San Vicente in the days just before his arrest and assassination in August 1936.[9]

Although García Lorca's artwork doesn't often receive attention he was also a keen artist.[10][11]

The Republic

His return to Spain in 1930 coincided with the fall of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera and the re-establishment of the Spanish Republic. In 1931, García Lorca was appointed as director of a university student theatre company, Teatro Universitario la Barraca (The Shack). This was funded by the Second Republic's Ministry of Education, and it was charged with touring Spain's remotest rural areas in order to introduce audiences to radically modern interpretations of classic Spanish theatre. As well as directing, García Lorca also acted. While touring with La Barraca, he wrote his now best-known plays, the Rural Trilogy of Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding), Yerma and La Casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba). He distilled his theories on artistic creation and performance in a famous lecture Play and Theory of the Duende, first given in Buenos Aires in 1933. García Lorca argued that great art depends upon a vivid awareness of death, connection with a nation's soil, and an acknowledgment of the limitations of reason.[12] The group's subsidy was cut in half by the new government in 1934, and la Barraca's last performance was given in April 1936.

The Spanish Civil War and Lorca's death

García Lorca left Madrid for Granada only three days before the Spanish Civil War broke out (July 1936). The Spanish political and social climate had greatly intensified after the murder of prominent monarchist and anti-Popular Front spokesman José Calvo Sotelo by Republican Assault Guards (Guardia de Asalto).[13] García Lorca was aware that he was heading towards a city held to be the most conservative in Andalusia. On 18 August (a month after the military insurrection had broken out) his brother-in-law, Manuel Fernández-Montesinos, the socialist mayor of Granada, was shot. Lorca was arrested that same afternoon.[14]

It is thought that García Lorca was shot and killed by Nationalist militia on 19 August 1936. The writer Ian Gibson in his book The Assassination of Garcia Lorca states that he was shot with three others (naming Joaquin Arcollas Cabezas, Francisco Galadi Mergal and Dioscoro Galindo Gonzalez as fellow victims) at a place known as the Fuente Grande, or Fountain of Tears in Arabic, which is on the road between Viznar and Alfacar.

Significant controversy remains about the motives and details of his death. Personal, non-political motives have also been suggested. García Lorca's biographer, Stainton, states that his killers made remarks about his sexual orientation, suggesting that it played a role in his death.[15] Ian Gibson states that García Lorca's assassination was part of a campaign of mass executions directed to eliminate all the supporters of the Popular Front.[14] Gibson proposes that it is likely that rivalry between right wing groups was a major factor in his death; Former CEDA Parliamentary Deputy, Ramon Ruiz Alonso not only arrested García Lorca at the Rosales' home, but also the one responsible for the original denunciation that led to the arrest warrant being issued.

It has been argued that García Lorca was apolitical and had many friends in both Republican and Nationalist camps. Gibson questions this in his 1978 book on the poet's death.[14] He cites, for example, Mundo Obrero's published manifesto, which Lorca later signed, indicating he was an active supporter of the (left wing) Popular Front.[16] Lorca read this manifesto out at a banquet in honour of fellow poet Rafael Alberti on 9 February 1936.

It is beyond question that other anti-communist poets were sympathetic to Lorca or assisted him; Roy Campbell for example translated his work.

In the days before his arrest he found shelter in the house of the artist and leading (right wing) Falange member, Luis Ortiz Rosales. Indeed, evidence suggests that Rosales was very nearly shot as well for helping García Lorca by the Civil Governor Valdes.

The Basque poet and Communist Gabriel Celaya wrote in his memoirs that he once found García Lorca in the company of Falangist José Maria Aizpurua. Celaya wrote that Lorca dined with Falangist leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera every Friday.[17] On 11 March 1937 an article appeared in the Falangist press criticizing the murder and lionizing García Lorca; the article opened: "The finest poet of Imperial Spain has been assassinated."[18] There was also the 'homosexual jealousy' theory that was published by Jean-Louis Schonberg,[19].

The dossier on the murder, compiled at Franco's request, and referred to by Gibson and others has yet to surface.

Jan Morris[20] describes how García Lorca foretold his own fate

"Then I realised I had been murdered. They looked for me in cafes, cemeteries and churches .... but they did not find me. They never found me? No. They never found me."

Following his death

Banned works

Franco's Falangist regime placed a general ban on García Lorca's work, which was not rescinded until 1953. That year, a (censored) Obras Completas (Complete works) was released. Following this, Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding), Yerma and La casa de Bernarda Alba were successfully played in the main Spanish stages. Obras Completas did not include his late heavily homoerotic Sonnets of Dark Love, written in November 1935 and shared only with close friends. They were lost until 1983/4 when they were finally published in draft form (no final manuscripts have ever been found.) It was only after Franco's death that García Lorca's life and death could be openly discussed in Spain. This was due, not only to political censorship, but also to the reluctance of the García Lorca family to allow publication of unfinished poems and plays prior to the publication of a critical edition of his works.

Exhumation attempts at Alfácar

The site of the excavation as it was in 1999

In late October 2009, a team of archaeologists and historians from the University of Granada began excavations outside Alfácar.[21] The site was identified three decades ago by a man who claimed to have helped dig Lorca's grave.[22][23] Lorca was thought to be buried with at least three other men beside a winding mountain road that connects the villages of Viznar and Alfácar.[24]

There is a growing desire in Spain to come to terms with the civil war, which for decades was not openly discussed.[25] The judge in the case, Judge Garzon, formally requested local government and churches to open their files on the thousands of people who disappeared during the Civil War and under the dictatorship of General Franco until 1975.[26]

The excavations began at the request of another victim's family.[27] Following a long-standing objection, the Lorca family also gave their permission.[27] In October 2009 Francisco Espinola, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry of the Andalusian regional government, said that after years of pressure García Lorca's body would "be exhumed in a matter of weeks".[28] Lorca's relatives, who had initially opposed an exhumation, said they might provide a DNA sample in order to identify his remains.[27]

In late November 2009, after two weeks of excavating the site, organic material believed to be human bones was recovered. The remains were taken to the University of Granada for examination.[29] But in mid December, 2009, doubts were raised as to whether the poet's remains would be found.[30] The dig produced "not one bone, item of clothing or bullet shell", said Begona Alvarez, justice minister of Andalucia. She added, "the soil was only 40cm (16in) deep, making it too shallow for a grave".[31][32]

The Garcia Lorca Theatre, in Havana, Cuba


García Lorca is honored by a statue prominently located in Madrid's Plaza de Santa Ana. Political philosopher David Crocker reports that "the statue, at least, is still an emblem of the contested past: "each day, the Left puts a red kerchief on the neck of the statue, and someone from the Right comes later to take it off."[33]

The Lorca Foundation, directed by Lorca's niece Laura García Lorca, sponsors the celebration and dissemination of the writer's work and is currently building the Lorca Centre in Madrid. The Lorca family gave all Lorca's documentation to the foundation which holds it on their behalf.[34]

The García Lorca family summer home at Huerta de San Vicente was opened to the public in 1995 as a museum. The grounds, including nearly two hectares of land, the two adjoining houses, artworks and the original furnishings have been preserved.[35]

List of major works

Poetry collections

  • Impresiones y paisajes (Impressions and Landscapes 1918)
  • Poema del cante jondo (Poem of Deep Song; written 1921 but not published until 1931)
  • Libro de poemas (Book of Poems 1921)
  • Romancero gitano (Gypsy Ballads 1928)
  • Poeta en Nueva York (written 1930 - published posthumously in 1940, first translation into English as The Poet in New York 1940)[36]
  • Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías (Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías 1935)
  • Seis poemas gallegos (Six Galician poems 1935)
  • Sonetos del amor oscuro (Sonnets of Dark Love 1936)
  • Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter and Other Poems (1937)
  • Primeras canciones (First Songs 1936)
  • Selected Poems (1941)

Select translations

  • Poem of the Deep Song - Poema del Canto Jondo, translated by Carlos Bauer (includes original Spanish verses). San Francisco; City Lights Books, 1987 ISBN 0-87286-205-4
  • Poem of the Deep Song, translated by Ralph Angel. Sarabande Books, 2006 ISBN 1-932511-40-7


Short plays

  • El paseo de Buster Keaton (Buster Keaton goes for a stroll1928)
  • La doncella, el marinero y el estudiante (The Maiden, the Sailor and the Student 1928)
  • Quimera (Dream 1928)


  • Viaje a la luna (Trip to the Moon 1929)

Drawings and paintings

  • Salvador Dalí, 1925 160x140mm. Ink and colored pencil on paper. Private collection, Barcelona, Spain
  • Bust of a Dead Man, 1932. Ink and colored pencil on paper. dimension and location unknown.

List of works based on Lorca


Poetry based on Lorca

  • Greek poet Nikos Kavvadias's poem Federico García Lorca, in Kavvadias' Marabu collection, is dedicated to the memory of García Lorca and juxtaposes his death with war crimes in the village of Distomo, Greece, where the Nazis executed over two hundred people.
  • Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti also wrote a poem about García Lorca in 1937 entitled Federico García Lorca.[37]
  • The New York based Spanish language poet Giannina Braschi published El imperio de los sueños, a poetic homage to Poet in New York (1st edition: Anthropos editorial del hombre, 1988; 2nd edition: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico).
  • Bob Kaufman and Gary Mex Glazner have both written tribute poems entitled Lorca.
  • Harold Norse has a poem, We Bumped Off Your Friend the Poet, inspired by a review of Ian Gibson's Death of Lorca. The poem first appeared in Hotel Nirvana,[38] and more recently in In the Hub of the Fiery Force, Collected Poems of Harold Norse 1934–2003[39]
  • The Spanish poet Antonio Machado wrote the poem El Crimen Fue en Granada, in reference to García Lorca's death.
  • The Turkish poet Turgut Uyar wrote the poem Three Poems For Federico García Lorca including a line in Spanish:obra completas
  • The Irish poet Michael Hartnett published an English translation of García Lorca's poetry. García Lorca is also a recurring character in much of Hartnett's poetry, most notably in the poem A Farewell to English..
  • Deep image, a poetic form coined by Jerome Rothenberg and Robert Kelly, is inspired by García Lorca's Deep Song.
  • Vietnamese poet Thanh Thao wrote The guitar of Lorca and was set to music by Thanh Tung.
  • A Canadian poet named John Mackenzie published several poems inspired by García Lorca in his collection Letters I Didn't Write, including one titled Lorca's Lament.
  • In 1945, Greek poet Odysseas Elytis (Nobel Prize for Literature, 1979) translated and published part of García Lorca's Romancero Gitano.

Musical works based on Lorca

  • Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas composed Homenaje a Federico García Lorca (a 3 movement work for chamber orchestra) shortly after García Lorca's death, performing the work in Spain during 1937.[40]
  • The Italian avant garde composer Luigi Nono wrote a composition in 1953 entitled Epitaffio per Federico García Lorca.
  • The American composer George Crumb utilizes much of García Lorca's poetry in works such as his Ancient Voices of Children, his four books of Madrigals, and parts of his Makrokosmos.
  • Composer Osvaldo Golijov and playwright David Henry Hwang wrote the one-act opera Ainadamar ("Fountain of Tears") about the death of García Lorca, recalled years later by his friend the actress Margarita Xirgu, who could not save him. It opened in 2003, with a revised version in 2005. A recording of the work released in 2006 on the Deutsche Grammophon label (Catalog #642902) won the 2007 Grammy awards for Best Classical Contemporary Composition and Best Opera Recording.
  • Finnish modernist composer Einojuhani Rautavaara has composed Suite de Lorca ("Lorca-sarja") for a mixed choir to the lyrics of García Lorca's poems Canción de jinete, El grito, La luna asoma and Malagueña (1972).
  • The Pogues dramatically retell the story of his murder in the song 'Lorca's Novena' on their Hell's Ditch album.
  • Reginald Smith Brindle composed the guitar piece Four Poems of Garcia Lorca (1975) and El Polifemo de Oro (for guitar, 1982) based on two Lorca poems Adivinanza de la Guitarra and Las Seis Cuerdas [41]
  • Composer Dmitri Shostakovich wrote the first two movements of his 14th Symphony based around García Lorca poems.
  • The French composer Maurice Ohana set to music García Lorca's poem Lament for the death of a Bullfighter (Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías) recorded by the conductor Ataúlfo Argenta in the 1950s
  • Spanish rock band Marea made a rock version of the poem Romance de la Guardia Civil española, named "Ciudad de los Gitanos".
  • In 1968, Joan Baez sang translated renditions of García Lorca's poems, "Gacela Of The Dark Death" and "Casida of the Lament" on her spoken-word poetry album, Baptism.
  • In 1986, Leonard Cohen's English translation of the poem "Pequeño vals vienés" by García Lorca reached #1 in the Spanish single charts (as "Take This Waltz", music by Cohen). Cohen has described García Lorca as being his idol in his youth, and named his daughter Lorca Cohen for that reason.[42]
  • Missa Lorca by Italian composer Corrado Margutti (2008) is a choral setting of the Latin Mass text and the poetry of Lorca. U.S. premiere, 2010.
  • In 1967, composer Mikis Theodorakis set to music seven poems of the Romancero Gitano – translated into Greek by Odysseas Elitis in 1945. Given the same title, the work was premiered in Rome in 1970. In 1981, under commission of the Komische Oper in Berlin, the composition was orchestrated as a symphonic work entitled Lorca. In the mid 1990s, Theodorakis rearranged the work as an instrumental piece for guitar and symphony orchestra.[43][44][45]
  • In 1989, American composer Stephen Edward Dick created new music for Lorca's ballad Romance Sonambulo, based on the original text, and with permission from Lorca's Estate. The piece is set for solo guitar, baritone and flamenco dance, and was performed in 1990 at the New Performance Gallery in San Francisco. The second performance took place in Canoga Park, Los Angeles in 2004.

Theatre, film and television based on Lorca

  • Playwright Nilo Cruz wrote the surrealistic drama Lorca in a Green Dress about the life, death, and imagined afterlife of García Lorca. The play was first performed in 2003 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The Cruz play Beauty of the Father (2010) also features Lorca's ghost as a key character.[46]
  • British playwright Peter Straughan wrote a play (later adapted as a radio play) based on García Lorca's life, The Ghost of Federico Garcia Lorca Which Can Also Be Used as a Table.
  • TVE broadcast a six hour mini-series based on key episodes on García Lorca's life in 1987. British actor Nickolas Grace played the poet, although he was dubbed by a Spanish actor.
  • There is a 1997 film called The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca, also known as Death in Granada, based on a biography by Ian Gibson. The film earned an Imagen Award for best film.
  • Miguel Hermoso's La Luz Prodigiosa (The End of a Mystery) is a Spanish film based on Fernando Macías' novel with the same name, which examines what might have happened if García Lorca had survived his execution at the outset of the Spanish Civil War.
  • British Screenwriter Philippa Goslett was inspired by García Lorca's close friendship with Salvador Dalí. The resulting biopic Little Ashes (2009) depicts the relationship in the 1920s and 1930s between García Lorca, Dalí, and Luis Buñuel.[47]


  1. ^ Ian Gibson, The Assassination of Federico Garcia Lorca. Penguin (1983) ISBN 0-14-006473-7; Michael Wood, "The Lorca Murder Case", The New York Review of Books, Vol. 24, No. 19 (24 November 1977); José Luis Vila-San-Juan, García Lorca, Asesinado: Toda la verdad Barcelona, Editorial Planeta (1975) ISBN 84-320-5610-3
  2. ^ Reuters, "Spanish judge opens case into Franco's atrocities", International Herald Tribune (16 October 2008)
  3. ^ Estefania, Rafael (2006-08-18). "Poet's death still troubles Spain". BBC. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  4. ^ "Lorca family to allow exhumation". BBC. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  5. ^ No remains found - Guardian article
  6. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica: "From 1925 to 1928, García Lorca was passionately involved with Salvador Dalí. The intensity of their relationship led García Lorca to acknowledge, if not entirely accept, his own homosexuality."
  7. ^ For more in-depth information about the Lorca-Dalí connection see Lorca-Dalí: el amor que no pudo ser and The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí, both by Ian Gibson.
  8. ^ Bosquet, Alain, Conversations with Dalí, 1969. p. 19–20. (PDF format) (of Garcia Lorca) 'S.D.:He was homosexual, as everyone knows, and madly in love with me. He tried to screw me twice .... I was extremely annoyed, because I wasn’t homosexual, and I wasn’t interested in giving in. Besides, it hurts. So nothing came of it. But I felt awfully flattered vis-à-vis the prestige. Deep down I felt that he was a great poet and that I owe him a tiny bit of the Divine Dalí's asshole.'
  9. ^ h Huerta de San Vicente
  10. ^ Cecilia J. Cavanaugh "Lorca's Drawings And Poems",
  11. ^ Mario Hernandez "Line of Light and Shadow" (trans) 383 drawings
  12. ^ Arriving Where We Started by Barbara Probst, 1998 — she interviewed surviving FUE/Barraca members in Paris.
  13. ^ Zhooee, TIME Magazine, 20 July 1936
  14. ^ a b c Gibson, Ian (1996) (in Spanish). El assasinato de García Lorca. Barcelona: Plaza & Janes. pp. 255. ISBN 9788466313148. 
  15. ^ See Stainton, Lorca: A Dream of Life.
  16. ^ Gibson, Ian (1996) (in Spanish). El assasinato de García Lorca. Barcelona: Plaza & Janes. pp. 52. ISBN 9788466313148. 
  17. ^ Arnaud Imatz, "La vraie mort de Garcia Lorca" 2009 40 NRH, 31–34, at p. 31-2, quoting from the Memoirs. 
  18. ^ Luis Hurtado Alvarez, Unidad (11 March 1937)
  19. ^ "Frederico Garcia Lorca. L'homme – L'oeuvre" 1956 (Paris, Plon). 
  20. ^ Jan Morris Spain", p.48
  21. ^ "Time" article 2009 "Exhuming Lorca's remains and Franco's ghosts"
  22. ^ Gibson p 467–8
  23. ^ Guardian article "Spanish archeologists fail to find Federico García Lorca's grave"
  24. ^ "Lorca's Granada" p.113–123
  25. ^ Democratic Development and Reckoning with the Past: The Case of Spain in Comparative Context, article by D. Crocker, University of Maryland
  26. ^ The Independent, 17 October 2008
  27. ^ a b c BBC News article 28 October 2009
  28. ^ Seattle Times article Oct 2009
  29. ^ "The Leader" Article "First bones found"
  30. ^ Reuters - "Doubts rise over Spanish poet Lorca's remains".
  31. ^ BBC news article "Spanish dig fails to find grave of poet Lorca"
  32. ^ Guardian article Dec 18 09 - "No remains found"
  33. ^ Democratic Development and Reckoning with the Past: The Case of Spain in Comparative Context, article by D. Crocker, University of Maryland [1]
  34. ^ The Lorca Foundation
  35. ^
  36. ^ Encyclopedia of literary translation into English
  37. ^ Radnóti Miklós: Erõletett Menet (Válogatott Versek) at the National Széchényi Library
  38. ^ Hotel Nirvana, San Francisco, City Lights (1974) ISBN 0-87286-078-7
  39. ^ In the Hub of the Fiery Force, Collected Poems of Harold Norse 1934–2003, New York: Thunder's Mouth Press (2003) ISBN 1-56025-520-X
  40. ^ Program Notes at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
  41. ^ Video - El Polifemo de Oro (for guitar, 1982) by Brindle
  42. ^ de Lisle, T. (n.d.) Article -Hallelujah: 70 things about Leonard Cohen at 70
  43. ^ Composition review Article by Andreas Brandes 11 Aug 2004
  44. ^ Gail Holst composition review article
  45. ^ Detail on Theodorakis' works
  46. ^ Washington Post article on Beauty of the Father February 5, 2010 accessed 2010-02-26
  47. ^ Ian Gibson, La represión nacionalista de Granada en 1936 y la muerte de Federico García Lorca (1971), Guía de la Granada de Federico García Lorca (1989), Vida, pasión y muerte de Federico García Lorca (1998), Lorca-Dalí, el amor que no pudo ser (1999).


  • Gibson, Ian (1989). Federico García Lorca. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 0571142249. OCLC 21600658. 
  • Stainton, Leslie (1999). Lorca: A Dream of Life. London: Farrar Straus & Giroux. ISBN 0374190976. OCLC 246338520. 
  • Doggart, Sebastian & Michael Thompson (eds) (1999). Fire, Blood and the Alphabet: One Hundred Years of Lorca. Durham: University of Durham. ISBN 0907310443. OCLC 43821099. 
  • Hernandez, Mario Translated by Maurer, Christopher (1991). Line of Light and Shadow: The Drawings of Federico Garcia Lorca. Duke university Press. ISBN 0-8223-1122-4. 

External links

  • The Lorca Foundation [2]
  • Huerta De San Vicente, Grandada - The Lorca Family home now a museum [3]
  • Article by The Independent, 14 March 2009 - Lorca censored to hide sexuality [4]
  • Poet Graves web for Lorca's epitaph [5]
  • Lorca's complete works in Spanish [6]
  • Youtube extract from US documentary on Lorca's life including interviews with friends and neighbours [7]
  • Essay Lorca and Censorship: The Gay Artist Made Heterosexual by Eisenberg, D; FSU [8]
  • Blog Verse-translation of the poem Gacela del Niño Muerto - Ghazal of the dead boy [9]

In Spanish

  • Blog essay on the Death of García Lorca [10]
  • Blog essay El sentido trágico en La casa de Bernarda Alba, y algunas relaciones con "Yerma" y "Bodas de Sangre", de Lorca. [11]
  • Blog essay ¿Qué elementos hay en Poeta en Nueva York semejantes y diferentes en relación con la obra anterior de Lorca? [12]


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Federico García Lorca (1898-06-051936-08-19) was a Spanish poet, dramatist, painter, pianist and composer.



  • Caballito negro.
    ¿Dónde llevas tu jinete muerto?
    • Little black horse.
      Where are you taking your dead rider?
      • "Canción de Jinete, 1860" from Canciones (1927) [1]
  • Verde que te quiero verde.
    Verde viento. Verdes ramas.
    El barco sobre la mar
    y el caballo en la montaña.
    • Green, how I want you green.
      Green wind. Green branches.
      The ship out on the sea
      and the horse on the mountain.
      • "Romance Sonámbulo" from Primer Romancero Gitano (1928) [2]
  • Los caballos negros son.
    Las herraduras son negras.
    Sobre las capas relucen
    manchas de tinta y de cera.
    Tienen, por eso no lloran,
    de plomo las calaveras.
    Con el alma de charol
    vienen por la carretera.
    • Black are the horses.
      The horseshoes are black.
      On the dark capes glisten
      stains of ink and wax.
      Their skulls are leaden,
      which is why they do not weep.
      With their patent leather souls
      they come down the street.
      • "Romance de la Guardia Civil Española" from Primer Romancero Gitano (1928) [3]
  • Las heridas quemaban como soles
    a las cinco de la tarde,
    y el gentío rompía las ventanas
    a las cinco de la tarde.
    A las cinco de la tarde.
    ¡Ay qué terribles cinco de la tarde!
    ¡Eran las cinco en todos los relojes!
    ¡Eran las cinco en sombra de la tarde!
    • The wounds were burning like suns
      at five in the afternoon,
      and the crowd broke the windows
      At five in the afternoon.
      Ah, that fatal five in the afternoon!
      It was five by all the clocks!
      It was five in the shade of the afternoon!
      • Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (1935) [4]
  • ¡Que no quiero verla!

    Dile a la luna que venga,
    que no quiero ver la sangre
    de Ignacio sobre la arena.

    ¡Que no quiero verla!
    • I will not see it!

      Tell the moon to come,
      for I do not want to see the blood
      of Ignacio on the sand.

      I will not see it!
      • Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (1935) [5]
  • Pero ya duerme sin fin.
    Ya los musgos y la hierba
    abren con dedos seguros
    la flor de su calavera.
    Y su sangre ya viene cantando:
    cantando por marismas y praderas,
    resbalando por cuernos ateridos,
    vacilando sin alma por la niebla,
    tropezando con miles de pezuñas
    como una larga, oscura, triste lengua,
    para formar un charco de agonía
    junto al Guadalquivir de las estrellas.
    ¡Oh blanco muro de España!
    ¡Oh negro toro de pena!
    ¡Oh sangre dura de Ignacio!
    ¡Oh ruiseñor de sus venas!
    • But now he sleeps endlessly.
      Now the moss and the grass
      open with sure fingers
      the flower of his skull.
      And now his blood comes out singing;
      singing along marshes and meadows,
      slides on frozen horns,
      faltering souls in the mist
      stumbling over a thousand hoofs
      like a long, dark, sad tongue,
      to form a pool of agony
      close to the starry Guadalquivir.
      Oh, white wall of Spain!
      Oh, black bull of sorrow!
      Oh, hard blood of Ignacio!
      Oh, nightingale of his veins!
      • Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (1935) [6]
  • No te conoce el toro ni la higuera,
    ni caballos ni hormigas de tu casa.
    No te conoce el niño ni la tarde
    porque te has muerto para siempre.

    No te conoce el lomo de la piedra,
    ni el raso negro donde te destrozas.
    No te conoce tu recuerdo mudo
    porque te has muerto para siempre.

    El otoño vendrá con caracolas,
    uva de niebla y montes agrupados,
    pero nadie querrá mirar tus ojos
    porque te has muerto para siempre.

    Porque te has muerto para siempre,
    como todos los muertos de la Tierra,
    como todos los muertos que se olvidan
    en un montón de perros apagados.

    No te conoce nadie. No. Pero yo te canto.
    Yo canto para luego tu perfil y tu gracia.
    La madurez insigne de tu conocimiento.
    Tu apetencia de muerte y el gusto de su boca.
    La tristeza que tuvo tu valiente alegría.
    • The bull does not know you, nor the fig tree,
      nor the horses, nor the ants in your own house.
      The child and the afternoon do not know you
      because you have died forever.

      The shoulder of the stone does not know you
      nor the black silk on which you are crumbling.
      Your silent memory does not know you
      because you have died forever

      The autumn will come with conches,
      misty grapes and clustered hills,
      but no one will look into your eyes
      because you have died forever.

      Because you have died for ever,
      like all the dead of the earth,
      like all the dead who are forgotten
      in a heap of lifeless dogs.

      Nobody knows you. No. But I sing of you.
      For posterity I sing of your profile and grace.
      Of the signal maturity of your understanding.
      Of your appetite for death and the taste of its mouth.
      Of the sadness of your once valiant gaiety.
      • Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (1935) [7]
  • Verte desnuda es recordar la Tierra.
    • To see you naked is to recall the Earth.
      • "Casidas," IV: Casida de la Mujer Tendida from Primeras Canciones (1936) [8]
  • Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir.
    • As I have not worried to be born, I do not worry to die.
      • Quoted in "Diálogos de un caricaturista salvaje," interview with Luis Bagaría, El Sol, Madrid (1936-06-10)
  • El remanso del aire
    bajo la rama del eco.

    El remanso del agua
    bajo fronda de luceros.

    El remanso de tu boca
    bajo espesura de besos.
    • The still pool of air
      under the branch of echo.

      The still pool of water
      under a frond of stars.

      The still pool of your mouth
      under a thicket of kisses.
      • "Remansos: Variación" from El Diván del Tamarit (1940) [9]
  • Un muerto en España está más vivo como muerto que en ningún sitio del mundo.
    • A dead man in Spain is more alive than a dead man anywhere in the world.
      • "Theory and Play of the Duende" from A Poet in New York (1940) [10]

The House of Bernarda Alba (1936)

La Casa de Bernarda Alba

  • ¡No me mires más! Si quieres te daré mis ojos, que son frescos, y mis espaldas para que te compongas la joroba que tienes.
    • Don't look at me any more! If you want, I can give you my eyes — which are still fresh — and my back so you can fix that hump of yours.
      • Act II (ll. 578–580)
  • Las viejas vemos a través de las paredes.
    • Old women can see through walls.
      • Act II (l. 597)
  • Siempre has sido lista. Has visto lo malo de las gentes a cien leguas... Pero los hijos son los hijos. Ahora estás ciega.
    • You have always been smart. You have always looked for the worst in people, and have been quick to notice when people are up to no good... But in the case of your children, you are blind.
      • Act II (ll. 833–835)

Quotations about Lorca

  • "I suppose he had the good luck to be executed, no? I had an hour's chat with him in Buenos Aires. He struck me as a kind of play actor, no? Living up to a certain role. I mean, being a professional Andalusian... But in the case of Lorca, it was very strange because I lived in Andalusia and the Andalusians aren't a bit like that. His were stage Andalusians. Maybe he thought that in Buenos Aires he had to live up to that character, but in Andalusia, people are not like that. In fact, if you are in Andalusia, if you are talking to a man of letters and you speak to him about bullfights, he'll say, 'Oh well, that sort of this pleases people, I suppose, but really the torero works in no danger whatsoever.' Because they are bored by these things, because every writer is bored by the local color in his own country. Well, when I met Lorca, he was being a professional Andalusian... Besides, Lorca wanted to astonish us. He said to me that he was very troubled about a very important figure in the contemporary world. A character in whom he could see all the tragedy of American life. And then he went on in this way until I asked him who was this character and it turned out this character was Mickey Mouse. I suppose he was trying to be clever. And I thought, 'That's the kind of thing you say when you are very, very young and you want to astonish somebody.' But after all, he was a grown man, he had no need, he could have talked in a different way. But when he started in about Mickey Mouse being a symbol of America, there was a friend of mine there and he looked at me and I looked at him and we both walked away because we were too old for that kind of game, no? Even at that time."
    • Richard Burgin, Conversation with Jorge Luis Borges, pages 92-93.
  • "Well, [Lorca had] a gift for gab. For example, he makes striking metaphors, but I think he makes striking metaphors for him, because I think that his world was mostly verbal.I think that he was fond of playing words against each other, the contrast of words, but I wonder if he knew what he was doing."
    • Richard Burgin, Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges, Holt, Rhinehart, & Winston, 1968. Pages 93-94.

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