double poem of lake eden :: frederico garcía lorca

translated by greg simon and steven f. white

Our cattle graze, the wind sends forth its breath.
—GARCILASO

It was the voice I had before,
ignorant of the dense and bitter sap,
the one that came lapping at my feet
beneath the moist and fragile ferns.

Ay, my love’s voice from before,
ay, voice of my truth,
ay, voice of my open side,
when all the roses spilled from my tongue
and the grass hadn’t felt the horse’s impossible teeth!

Here you are drinking my blood,
drinking the humor of the child I was,
while my eyes are shattered by aluminum
and drunken voices in the wind.

Let me pass through the arch
where Eve devours ants
and Adam impregnates the dazzling fish.
Little men with horns, let me return
to the grove of easy living
and the somersaults of pure joy.

I know the best secret way
to use an old rusty pin,
I know the horror of eyes wide awake
on the concrete surface of a plate.

But I want neither world nor dream, divine voice,
I want my liberty, my human love
in the darkest corner of the breeze no one wants.
My human love!

Those sea-dogs chase each other
and the wind lies in ambush for careless tree trunks.
Oh, voice of before, let your tongue burn
this voice of tin and tale!

I want to cry because I feel like it—
the way children cry in the last row of seats—
because I’m not a man, not a poet, not a leaf,
only a wounded pulse that probes the things of the other side.

I want to cry saying my name,
rose, child, and fir on the shore of this lake,
to speak truly as a man of blood
killing in myself the mockery and suggestive power of the word.

No, no, I’m not asking, I’m telling you what I want,
my liberated voice lapping at my hands.
In the labyrinth of folding screens my nakedness receives
the punishing moon and the clock covered with ash.

I was speaking that way.
I was speaking that way when Saturn stopped the trains
and the fog and Dream and Death were looking for me.
Looking for me
where cattle with little feet of a page bellow
and my body floats between contrary equilibriums.

Courtesy of A.M.

song :: frederico garcía lorca

translated by a. s. kline

The girl with the lovely face,
goes, gathering olives.
The wind, that towering lover,
takes her by the waist.
Four riders go by
on Andalusian ponies,
in azure and emerald suits,
in long cloaks of shadow.
‘Come to Cordoba, sweetheart!’
The girl does not listen.
Three young bullfighters go by,
slim-waisted in suits of orange,
with swords of antique silver.
‘Come to Sevilla, sweetheart!’
The girl does not listen.
When the twilight purples,
with the daylight’s dying,
a young man goes by, holding
roses, and myrtle of moonlight.
‘Come to Granada, my sweetheart!’
But the girl does not listen.
The girl, with the lovely face,
goes on gathering olives,
while the wind’s grey arms
go circling her waist.