Poems to remember about Granada by Federico Garcia Lorca
The gods wanted that on June 5, 1898, the poet, playwright and demiurge of the word in Spanish, Federico García Lorca, pillar of the cultural imaginary of humanity, and one of the most studied since it was vilely assassinated by the revolted or national side at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, which branded him as a socialist, a Mason and a homosexual.
Born in Fuente Vaqueros, Andalusia. In 1909, when Federico was eleven years old, the whole family settled in the city of Granada, although he would continue to spend his summers in the countryside, in Valderrubio, a famous place where he wrote much of his work.
Therefore, Granada is Lorca, and Lorca is Granada. Existence made earth, earth turned into song and literature full of emotions, of life. Here the bard and his landscapes turned into hundreds of pages, which accompany the journey through Lorca’s work, through his land and through his metaphors.
Lorca’s poetics represents the pinnacle of the poetry of the so-called Generation of 27, but also of all Spanish literature. His verses are the reflection of a tragic feeling in life.
In this poetry, popular tradition and the avant-garde converge. Although it is not easy to establish epochs in Lorca’s poetics, some critics differentiate two stages: one of youth and the other of fullness.
The first includes his early writings: Impressions and landscapes (1918), written in prose, despite showing characteristics of poetic language, and Libro de poemas (1921), a work heavily influenced by Rubén Darío, Antonio Machado and Juan Ramón Jiménez. At this time, García Lorca projects a sad and hopeless love.
In its heyday, it began with the Poema del cante jondo (1921) which, through the thematic, formal, conceptual unit and the expression of feelings, describes the lyrics of the Generation of 27. The theme of death and Moral incompatibility of the gypsy world with bourgeois society are its two main topics.
His poetic work is full of traditional and avant-garde symbols. They stand out among them:
The Moon: Symbolizes death but also eroticism
Metals: It means death. The razors predict tragedy.
Water: indicates death, but if water flows it means life.
The horse and the rider: It is death, but also male eroticism and strength.
Blood: symbolizes life and fertility.
Herbs or the color green: tragedy and death.
Lorca and Granada
Sensing that the country was on the brink of an outbreak of war, Lorca decided to meet with his family in Granada. Federico loved to proclaim that he was from Granada. He was an exceptional guide of his city and, as he did with so many friends, at the Puerta de las Granadas he would show us that “Alhambra, jasmine of sorrow where the moon rests.”
In much of his collection of poems he will make references to his native Granada. We are going to highlight just a few examples below.
Perhaps the poem that best describes Granada city and its surroundings, making mention of places of great interest such as Calle Elvira, the Alhambra, the Cathedral and the Genil and Darro rivers, among others.
“Granada, Calle Elvira where the manolas live, / those who go to the Alhambra, all three and four alone. / The cathedral left bronzes that the breeze takes; / The Genil sleeps his oxen and the Darro his butterflies./ ”the poet would indicate among other verses.
Elegy to Doña Juana La Loca
More than a poem, it is a hymn to the life of Juana la Loca, whose jealous love for her husband, Felipe, and his early death, disabled her to be queen of Castile, remaining locked up for years in her palace of Tordesillas.
Once the Cathedral of Granada was completed, her son The emperor Carlos V would move the tombs of his grandparents, the Catholic Monarchs and the tombs of his parents, Doña Juana and Don Felipe, from the Alhambra to the Royal Chapel located inside the Cathedral. Hence the references to Granada, her tomb, the mountains, the Darro river in the elegy for Doña Juana La Loca: “And Granada keeps you as a holy relic / Oh brunette princess who sleeps under the marble! / Granada was your deathbed , Doña Juana / The cypresses your candles / The mountain range your altarpiece / An altarpiece of snow that mitigates your cravings / with the water that passes by you! Darro river! ”, Wrote the poet.
Baladilla of the 3 rivers
The poem entitled “Baladilla de los tres rios”, from 1931 represents a geographic and thematic opening, with exultant, euphoric compositions, along with others evocative of childhood, which he called “lost paradise”. All this, decorated with a clear focus on romantic popular poetry.
In this ballad he compares the Guadalquivir river that passes through Seville and Cordoba with the two rivers, Darro and Genil, that cross Granada:
“The Guadalquivir river runs between orange and olive trees. The two rivers of Granada descend from snow to wheat. / The Guadalquivir river with garnet beards. / The two rivers of Granada, one crying and the other blood. / Guadalquivir, high tower and wind in the orange groves / Darro and Genil, small towers/ dead on the ponds ”, Lorca will say in some of his stanzas.
The Tamarit Divan
The love anguish that arises in “The Tamarit Divan” is what was called “dark love”. Divan, in Arabic means songbook, that is, a set of poetry composed in two blocks of poems “the Gazelles” and “the Casidas”. It is a nod to the historical past of Granada and the Alhambra since these types of stanzas have an Arabic origin. Tamarit was the name of a family property in Granada. Most of the poems were composed in that town, while the goldsmith of the word read Arabic-Andalusian poems.
Federico García Lorca managed to resume the authentic sense of tragedy, which is why he is considered a modern Aeschylus. Lorca transcends all borders, and his work continues throughout the planet, being the most studied Spanish author of the 20th century at an international level.