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 frío plata.
Verde que te quiero verde.
Bajo la luna gitana,
las cosas la están mirando
y ella no puede mirarlas.
These are the opening twelve lines of Lorca's "Romance Sonámbulo", surely some of the most memorable in Twentieth Century Spanish Literature. They were written on 2 August 1924, presumably at his father's house in Valderrubio (then Asquerosa). The poem belongs of course to the Gypsy Ballad Book ("Romancero Gitano"). The drawing, by Lorca, is entitled "Verde que te quiero verde".
Translation:
Green how I love you green./Green wind. Green branches./The ship on the sea/and the horse on the mountain./With the shadow at her waist,/she's dreaming at her balustrade,/green flesh, green hair,/with eyes of cold silver./Green how I love you green./Under a gypsy moon,/the things are looking at her/and she cannot look at them.

LORCA'S POETRY

TITLE
DATE PUBLISHED
DATES WRITTEN
Libro de poemas
1921
1918 - 1920
Poema del Cante Jondo
1931
1921 - 1925
Primeras Canciones
1936
1922

Suites 

1983
1920 - 1923
Canciones
1927
1921 - 1924
Primero Romancero Gitano
1928
1923 - 1927

Poeta en Nueva York

1940
1929 - 1930
Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías
1935
1934 - 1935

Divan del Tamarit

1940
1931 - 1934
Seis poemas galegos
1935
1932 - 1935

Sonetos del amor oscuro

1984
1935 - 1936
"Dates written" is problematic: Lorca often dated his work as finished, though he had been working on it for some time before and he might continue to make minor "corrections" up to the date of its publication.
The following are a selection of important single poems with their date of publication:
Oda a Salvador Dalí April 1926
Ten of the eighteen Gypsy Ballads were published as single poems
before the collection was published in 1928.
.
1. Romance de la luna luna Jun 1925; Apr 1926; Jul 1927
2. Preciosa y el aire November 1926
3. Reyerta Oct 1926; Jun 1927
6. La casada infiel January 1928
8. San Miguel (Granada) November 1926
11. Prendimiento de Antoñito el Camborio November 1926
13. Muerto de amor October 1927
14. El emplazado January 1928
16. Martirio de Santa Olalla January 1928
17. Burla de Don Pedro a caballo June 1927
These published poems along with the readings Lorca had given
served to create great expectations prior to the publication of the collection in 1928.
Oda al Santísimo Santo (fragments) December 1928
Soneto: Yo sé que mi perfil será tranquila Apr 1930; Dec 1932
Of the 34 poems finally published in the collection Poeta en Nueva York, a number were published in the course of the 1930s, including:- .
In Cuba.Danza de la Muerte; Son (de negros en Cuba) April/May 1930
In Revista de Occidente: Vaca; Muerte; Ruina; New York (oficina y denuncia)) January 1931
In Los cuatro vientos: Oda al rey de Harlem February 1933
In Mexico: Oda a Walt Whitman August 1933
In London: Pequeño vals vienés; Paisaje con dos tumbas y un perro asirio 1934; 1935
In all, I count 18 published poems from the finally published collection. .
Soneto: Adam 1932; 1933; 1936
Casida de las palomas oscuras (from Diván del Tamarit) 1932
Gacela de la raíz armarga (from Diván del Tamarit) 1933


Poetry links :
for links to original versions of Lorca's poetic works,
as well as to several English translations,
including my own

 


To return to my (Granada la Bella) Home Page  To return to my Garcia Lorca Home Page
Page edited in October 2008

THE POETIC WORKS OF GARCÍA LORCA

 Libro de poemas / Book of Poems

 
On May 26, 1916, Antonio Segura, Lorca's music teacher, died. Lorca wanted to continue his music studies in Paris, but his father would not let him. Lorca's creative instinct turned to poetry. On June 29, 1917, he wrote his first poem "Canción. Ensueño y confusión". In the following months, Lorca wrote hundreds of poems. With the help of his brother, Francisco, 67 poems were selected for this first book, published in May 1921. They were, the poet admitted in the preface to the book, far from perfect; they were the product of "juvenile ardour" and "limitless ambition" and were the "true reflection of his adolescent heart and youthful spirit".

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Poema del cante jondo / Poem of the Deep Song

 
In June 1922, a competition was held in Granada to find the best performers of the flamenco genre, Cante Jondo. The initiative was taken by a group of artists and intellectuals, inspired by the Spanish composer, Manuel de Falla, who had settled in Granada two years previously. Falla's intention was to save this great popular gypsy art form from degeneration. 

Lorca, as part of this group, was moved to write the first version of his talk on the Cante Jondo (El cante jondo. Primitivo cante andaluz) which he read in February 1922 at the Centro Artístico in Granada, as well as this collection of poems, the majority of them written in November 1921, while a selection of them were read at the opening ceremony of the Competition at the Alhambra Palace Hotel.

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Primeras Canciones; Canciones / First Songs; Songs.

 
His love for music and for the popular tradition were also sources of inspiration for the poems (written between 1921 and 1924) included in these two books (published in 1936 and in 1927 respectively). The publication of Canciones in 1927 did much to establish Lorca's reputation as one of the new generation of Spanish poets whose work came to be recognised as a new Golden Age in the history of Spanish Literature.

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Suites / Suites

Lorca chose another musical title for this collection of poems, written between 1920 and 1923. Although the poet declared his intention of publishing them on various occasions, he never did. The book was finally "reconstructed" by the Lorca scholar, André Belamich, in 1983.
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Oda a Salvador Dalí / Ode to Salvador Dali

 
Lorca and Dalí met in Madrid in January 1923 and were immediately attracted to each other. The friendship deepened and at Easter 1925 the poet visited the painter's family in Cadaqués, Catalonia. Shortly after, he began writing this ode which elogises Dalí's personality as well as his artistic style and convictions.
 

 

¡Oh Salvador Dalí de voz aceitunada!
Digo lo que me dicen tu persona y tus cuadros.
No alabo tu imperfecto pincel adolescente,
pero canto la firme dirección de tus flechas.

Oh Salvador Dali with the olive voice!
I say what your person and your paintings tell me.
I do not praise your imperfect, adolescent brush

but sing of the sure direction of your arrows.
 
 
(The translation is mine.)
 
Return to single poems.
Apparition of a Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach, 1938
Apparition of a Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach, 1938
Dali, Salvador
Buy this Art Print at AllPosters.com
Honey is Sweeter than Blood
Honey is Sweeter than Blood
Dali, Salvador
Buy this Art Print at AllPosters.com

 If you want to buy a collection that contains this poem, click the title


  Primero romancero gitano / First Gypsy Ballad Book

Following on from the Poem of the Deep Song, Lorca started writing the first poems that would make up this new collection of gypsy culture inspired poetry in the summer of 1923. It is Lorca's first major masterpiece, a fine blend of the popular tradition with artistic innovation. Between June 1925 and January 1928 ten of the eighteen poems that make up the collection had already been published in literary magazines and Lorca had given several public and private readings, so by the time the work was published in 1928 great expectations had been aroused.
Even so, the acclaim it received from both critics and public was extraordinary. A quite formidable print run of 3500 copies was soon sold out and a second edition appeared in 1929. In the eight years up to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, there were in all six reprints.
Interestingly, the word "first" was dropped from the title for the third edition, published in 1933. It was clear that Lorca had exhausted the Deep Song/Ballad Book vein and have moved on to other issues and themes. There was to be no Second Gypsy Ballad Book.

 

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To purchase this book, click the title above

An audio CD is also available, containing all the best known romances from this collection, in Spanish.


Have a look at my short article The Gypsy Ballad Book: The 80th anniversary of its publication in July 1928 in the June/July 2008 issue of The LONDON MAGAZINE: A Review of Literature and the Arts. ISSN 0024-6085. www.thelondonmagazine.net


 Poeta en Nueva York / Poet in New York

One of the few voices that did not join in the acclaim for Lorca's Gypsy Ballads was that of Salvador Dalí who said the book was too conventional and didn't break with tradition, a major impediment in the way of creating a truly modern art. Dalí was beginning to turn towards the French Surrealist Movement which demanded this complete break with convention and tradition.
Lorca was deeply affected by the rupture with Dalí and he entered into a period of depression that lasted from 1928 to 1930.

Lorca's father was convinced that his son needed "a change of air" and the trip to New York, accompanied by friend of the family, Fernando de los Ríos, later Socialist Minister in the Republican Government, was arranged. The poet's confrontation with the great metropolis, combined with his heightened sensibility, gave rise to this exceptional collection of poems, in which surrealist elements are used to give expression to a harsh reality, passionately experienced. The book is often cited as one of the major poetic achievements of the Twentieth Century.

Opposite: Self portrait of Lorca in his New York period.

To purchase this book, click the title above

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Diván del Tamarit / The Divan Poems

Lorca returned to his roots after his useful New York experience, writing his rural dramatic trilogy (Blood Wedding, Yerma, the House of Bernarda Alba) between 1932 and 1936. He also returned to the interest he had had as a young man in the Arabic poets of Granada's Moslem past. A divan is an Arabic literary genre composed of two poetic forms, the Gacela and the Kasida. Lorca adapted the Arabic forms freely to his own purposes. Tamarit is the name of a country property on the edge of Granada which the poet visited frequently. It belonged to an uncle of his.
 
Through the groves of the Tamarit 
the dogs of lead have come 
From Casida de los ramos
The rose 
wasn't looking for the dawn
From Casida de la rosa
Through the Arch of Elvira 
I want to watch you go by, 
From Gacela del mercado matutino
Just because I heard
the bell of the Vela
From Gacela del amor que no se deja ver
To buy a collection of Lorca's works that includes this poem, click the title

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 Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías / Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías

On 13 August 1934, the bullfighter Ignacio Sánchex Mejías, who had recently returned to the bullring from a lengthy retirement at the age of 43, died from the injuries he received from a goring two days earlier. Sánchez Mejías was not merely a bullfighter, he was an extraordinary man for whom Lorca wrote this extraordinary poem: one of the finest in contemporary Spanish literature.
To buy a collection of Lorca's works that includes this poem, click the title.  An audio CD of this poem, read in English by Germaine Montero, is also available.

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Seis poemas galegos / Six Galician Poems

In 1932, on his travels through Spain giving lectures for the Republican Committees for Intellectual Cooperation and with his student travelling theatre group, La Barraca, Lorca visited Galicia, the region in the northwest corner of the peninsula. Later in the year, he started writing poems in the regional language. 
With the help of the Galician poet Eduardo Blanco-Amor, who he met the following year, Lorca's six Galician poems were prepared for publication, in December 1935.

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Sonetos del amor oscuro / Love Sonnets

In 1933, reconciled by now to his homosexual condition, Lorca met and fell in love with Rafael Rodríguez Rapún, who worked as a secretary to the Barraca student travelling theatre group that he directed. In 1935 and 1936 this relationship gave rise to these 11 love sonnets, which are undoubtedly (in the words of fellow Andalusian poet, Vicente Aleixandre,) "a prodigy of passion, of enthusiasm, of happiness, of torment", a pure and ardent testimony to his love and to his suffering.
 
 

Opposite: El beso. 1927.

 If you want to buy a book of the best sonnets in the Spanish language, click the title

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 Selected Poems

 For a good selection of Lorca's poetic output, click this link above
For a good selection of his poetry written for children, click the one below
 Poems and Songs for Children

updated in October 2008

Poetry links :
for links to original versions of Lorca's poetic works,
as well as to several English translations,
including my own

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