Wow… I just read the saddest article in this week’s New Yorker about the exhumation of the mass grave in Spain where Federico García-Lorca was killed. I never knew very much about Lorca before this article… For those that are unacquainted: he is considered the greatest Spanish poet, was a prolific playwright, as well, and was one of a very few people at that time to live openly as a gay man. I guess I had no idea how brutal the fascists were in Spain, but along with the hundreds of thousands of people they outright murdered, there were as many, if not more, people put into concentration camps – not to mention the dark fact that many of those who escaped to France were by and large picked up by the gestapo and put into German concentration camps. The site where Lorca was murdered by the fascists, and where his body lies still, remains, at this point, completely unmarked, and though there have been several plaques put out, each has been removed or destroyed.
Lorca was such a beautiful person, here’s a quote and a poem for you to remember him by:
“The artist, and particularly the poet, is always an anarchist in the best sense of the word. He must heed only the call that arises within him from three strong voices: the voice of death, with all its foreboding, the voice of love and the voice of art.”
Sonnet of the Sweet Complaint
Never let me lose the marvel
of your statue-like eyes, or the accent
the solitary rose of your breath
places on my cheek at night.
I am afraid of being, on this shore,
a branchless trunk, and what I most regret
is having no flower, pulp, or clay
for the worm of my despair.
If you are my hidden treasure,
if you are my cross, my dampened pain,
if I am a dog, and you alone my master,
never let me lose what I have gained,
and adorn the branches of your river
with leaves of my estranged Autumn.