Death of a Poet

Memorial to Federico in Fuente Vaqueros, the town where he was born

Seventy five years ago (19th August 1936) the poet, Federico Garcia Lorca was shot dead by his captors in a country lane near Viznar  above Granada. Here is a poem by his friend Antonio Machado which I have translated.

I:  The Crime

One saw him walking between the rifles,

down a long road

out to indifferent fields

still lit by early stars.

They killed Federico

when the dawn broke.

The firing squad

dared not look into his face.

They all closed their eyes,

said: “Nor will God save you!”

Federico fell dying

–blood on his brow, lead in his guts –

…To think the crime should have been in Granada.

–  poor Granada! – in his Granada…

 

II: Death and the Poet

He was seen walking only with Her,

unafraid of her scythe.

– The sun now on tower after tower, hammers

on anvils – anvil on anvil, of the forges.

Federico was speaking

flattering Death. She listened.

“Because yesterday in my verse, friend,

the clap of your dry palms sounded,

you gave ice to my song, your silver

scythe’s edge to my tragedy,

I’ll sing to you of your wasted flesh,

your empty eyes,

your hair the wind stirs,

the red lips where you were kissed…

Now as ever, gypsy, my death,

how good to be alone with you,

in this breeze of Granada, my Granada!”

 

III

He was seen walking…

Friends, carve

a statue of stone and dreams in the Alhambra,

for the poet,

over a fountain where water weeps

and saying, eternally:

the crime was in Granada, in his Granada!

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About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live in the little coastal village of Las Negras in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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One Response to Death of a Poet

  1. angela bell says:

    lovely Margaret. It is amazing how much this death moves us ,it seems to be an simbol of the destruction of beauty by intolerance and fear.

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