The door in my heartopened on its hinges,and once more the galleryof my history was revealed.Once more the little plazawith flowering acacias,once more the clear fountaintelling its tale of love… — Antonio Machado, “The Door of My Heart,” Songs of the High Country
Clocks keep the same cadenceand nights have the same stars. —Federico Garcia Lorca, from “Madrigal” Lorca/Blackburn Poems of Frederico Garcia Lorca (Stop Press, January 1, 2000) Originally April 1st 1979.
Night falls. The heart descendsinfinite steps, enormous galleries,only to find sorrow.There it rests, thereit lies; there, defeated,lies its own being. — José Ángel Valente, from “Night falls,” Landscape with Yellow Birds. (Archipelago, 2013) (transl. Tom Christensen)
The moon comes to the forge,in her creamy-white petticoat.The child stares, stares.The child is staring at her.In the breeze, stirred,the moon stirs her armsshows, pure, voluptuous,her breasts of hard tin.– ‘Away, luna, luna, luna.If the gypsies come here,they’ll take your heart fornecklaces and white rings.’– ‘Child, let me dance now.When the gypsies come here,they’ll find… Continue reading Federico García Lorca
yes, I know what you loved,brooding by the shore,your cheek in your still-damp hand,thinking, — Vicente Aleixandre, from “Tragic Destiny,” A Longing for the Light: Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2007)
Last night as I was sleeping,I dreamt—marvelous error!—that a spring was breakingout in my heart.I said: Along which secret aqueduct,Oh water, are you coming to me,water of a new lifethat I have never drunk? Last night as I was sleeping,I dreamt—marvelous error!—that I had a beehivehere inside my heart.And the golden beeswere making white combsand… Continue reading Antonio Machado
Your name was happiness.A hope under the radiant light, a bird .Arriving, arriving. The sea was a pulse,the hollow of a hand, a warm medallion .So now they’re all possible: the lights, the caresses, the skin , thehorizon ,talking with words that mean nothing,that roll around like ears or seashells,like an open lobe that dawns(listen… Continue reading Vicente Aleixandre
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… Continue reading Federico García Lorca
What is more dangerous than to become a poet? which is, as some say, an incurable and infectious disease. — Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote. Published by Francisco de Robles 1605 (Part One), 1615 (Part Two). Published in English 1612 (Part One), 1620 (Part Two).
We have said that the duende likes the edge of things, the wound, and that it is drawn to where forms fuse themselves in a longing greater than their visible expressions. — Federico García Lorca, from “Theory and Function of the Duende,” trans. J. L. Gilli, 1933, Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art… Continue reading Federico García Lorca