The Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca has introduced generations of American readers to mesmerizing poetry since 1955. Lorca (1898-1937) is admired all over the world for the lyricism, immediacy and clarity of his poetry, as well as for his ability to encompass techniques of the symbolist movement with deeper psychological shadings. But Lorca's poems are, most of all, admired for their beauty. Undercurrents of his major influences--Spanish folk traditions from his native Andalusia and Granada, gypsy ballads, and his friends the surrealists Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel--stream throughout Lorca's work. Poets represented here as translators are as diverse as Stephen Spender, Langston Hughes, Ben Belitt, William Jay Smith, and W.S. Merwin.
I have lost myself in the sea many tunes
with my ear full of freshly cut flowers,
with my tongue full of love awl agony.
I have lost myself in the sea many times
as I lose myself in the heart of certain children.
It has been a meandering weekend, laden with thoughts on consciousness and narrative, These thoughts led to a certain brooding. Most of the selected work here appeared lighter, odes to tranquility and affection. My soul wasn't overly callous for such but neither did it bloom.
These clipped lines embrace Spain's Moorish past. Not the Caliphate but traditions of poetry which rolled across deserts and seas. There were troubadours of the moment who found hope in the scent of flowers. Unfortunately the same tide of history which propels those sentiments brought something ugly his way.