Classic · Collection · Generation of '27 · Ghazal · Modernism · Poetry · Spanish Culture · Spanish Literature

Federico García Lorca

Ghazal of the Terrible Presence    

I want the river to stand still,
And the wind to stop stirring the air.

I want the night to remain sightless,
And my heart to beat without flowering gold.

I want the oxen to speak with the leaves,
And the earthworm to die of darkness.

The skull’s teeth to shine a bright light,
And yellows to flood the silk.

I can see the pain of the wounded night
As it fights, entangled with day.

I can bear the sunset of poison green
And the warping arc where time begins to sag,

But I can’t look upon you clean and naked,
Like a black cactus broken open in the brush.

Leave me longing for distant planets,
But don’t show me your virgin waist.

Federico García Lorca, Diván del Tamarit. Translated by Amy Rodriguez

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