SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA


SONG OF THE BARREN ORANGE TREE

by Federico Garcia Lorca


Woodcutter.
Cut my shadow from me.
Free me from the torment
of seeing myself without fruit.

Why was I born among mirrors?
The day walks in circles around me,
and the night copies me
in all its stars.

I want to live without seeing myself.
And I will dream that ants
and thistleburrs are my
leaves and my birds.

Woodcutter.
Cut my shadow from me.
Free me from the torment
of seeing myself without fruit.

“Song of the Barren Orange Tree” by Federico García Lorca, from THE SELECTED POEMS OF FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA. Translated by W. S. Merwin, copyright © 1955 by New Directions Publishing Corp.

Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of ’27. He is thought to be one of the many thousands who were ‘disappeared’ and executed by Nationalists at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
(Annotated biography of Federico Garcia Lorca courtesy of Wikipedia.org.)

Editor’s Note: I think few poems have achieved what this poem does. This poem both inspires me to want to be a better poet and intimidates me with its greatness.

Want to read more by and about Federico Garcia Lorca?
Poets.org
The NY Times
Repertorio.org

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Contributing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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One Response to SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA

  1. Maya Elashi says:

    Check out a piece by A. Marchado (also, a Spanish poe), with the line ‘last night I dreamt, marvelous error …. out of all my old failures.’ My hit – given these two and Neruda – is that the heart and soulsong of the Spanish is the quintessential language of poetry.

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