García Lorca’s Poem: “They never found me”

“As I have not worried to be born, I do not worry to die”. Federico Garcia Lorca

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca (5 June 1898 – 19 August 1936) was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of ’27. He was executed by Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.

García Lorca was born on 5 June 1898, in Fuente Vaqueros, a small town a few miles west of Granada, southern Spain. His father, Federico García Rodríguez, was a landowner with a farm in the fertile vega surrounding Granada and a comfortable villa in the heart of the city. García Rodríguez saw his fortunes rise with a boom in the sugar industry. García Lorca’s mother, Vicenta Lorca Romero, was a teacher and gifted pianist. In 1909, when the boy was 11, his family moved to the city of Granada.

In 1915, after graduating from secondary school, García Lorca attended Sacred Heart University. During this time his studies included law, literature and composition. Throughout his adolescence he felt a deeper affinity for theatre and music than literature, training fully as a classical pianist, his first artistic inspirations arising from the scores of Debussy, Chopin and Beethoven

At the Residencia de estudiantes in Madrid García Lorca befriended Manuel de Falla, Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí and many other creative artists who were, or would become, influential across Spain. He was taken under the wing of the poet Juan Ramon Jimenez, becoming close to playwright Eduardo Marquina and Gregorio Martínez Sierra, the Director of Madrid’s Teatro Eslava.

Salvador Dalí, José Moreno Villa, Luis Buñuel, Federico García Lorca y José Antonio Rubio Sacristán, en La Bombilla (Madrid) en mayo de 1926

“Not for a moment, beautiful aged Walt Whitman, have I failed to see your beard full of butterflies”.Federico Garcia Lorca

In 1919–20, at Sierra’s invitation, he wrote and staged his first play, El maleficio de la mariposa (The Butterfly’s Evil Spell). It was a verse play dramatising the impossible love between a cockroach and a butterfly, with a supporting cast of other insects; it was laughed off the stage by an unappreciative public after only four performances and influenced García Lorca’s attitude to the theatre-going public for the rest of his career.  He would later claim that Mariana Pineda  with stage settings by Salvador Dalí, opened to great acclaim in Barcelona in 1927, written in 1927, was, in fact, his first play

García Lorca’s first book of poems was published in 1921, collecting work written from 1918 and selected with the help of his brother Francisco. They concern the themes of religious faith, isolation and nature that had filled his prose reflections

“The two elements the traveler first captures in the big city are extra human architecture and furious rhythm. Geometry and anguish”. Federico Garcia Lorca

“I was lucky enough to see with my own eyes the recent stock-market crash, where they lost several million dollars, a rabble of dead money that went sliding off into the sea”.Federico Garcia Lorca

The American composer George Crumb utilizes much of García Lorca’s poetry in works such as his Ancient Voices of Children, his four books of Madrigals, and parts of his Makrokosmos. His four books of “Madrigals,” for soprano and various instruments including: piccolo, flute, alto flute, harp, vibraphone, percussion, and contrabass, utilizes for it’s text twelve short segments of Lorca’s poetry.

The House of Bernarda Alba (1936)

Don’t look at me any more! If you want, I can give you my eyes — which are still fresh — and my back so you can fix that hump of yours. Act II

Old women can see through walls.Act II

You have always been smart. You have always looked for the worst in people, and have been quick to notice when people are up to no good… But in the case of your children, you are blind. Act II

Significant controversy remains about the motives and details of Lorca’s murder. Personal, non-political motives have also been suggested. García Lorca’s biographer, Stainton, states that his killers made remarks about his sexual orientation, suggesting that it played a role in his death. Ian Gibson suggests that García Lorca’s assassination was part of a campaign of mass killings intended to eliminate supporters of the Marxist Popular Front. However, Gibson proposes that rivalry between the anti-communist Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right (CEDA) and the Falange was a major factor in Lorca’s death. Former CEDA Parliamentary Deputy Ramon Ruiz Alonso arrested García Lorca at the Rosales’ home, and was the one responsible for the original denunciation that led to the arrest warrant being issued.

In the Castelar Hotel in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he lived for six months in 1933, the room where he lived has been kept as a shrine and contains original writings and drawings of his. The room can be visited by arrangement.

In 1986 Leonard Cohen’s English translation of the poem “Pequeño vals vienés” by García Lorca reached No. 1 in the Spanish single charts (as “Take This Waltz”, music by Cohen). Cohen has described García Lorca as being his idol in his youth, and named his daughter Lorca Cohen for that reason.

“The video was filmed in Spain, in the city of Granada, famous for the Alhambra Castle. Leonard Cohen is shown in the house of Federico Garcia Lorca. 6 min, color.”

“Then I realized I had been murdered.
They looked for me in cafes, cemeteries and churches
…. but they did not find me.
They never found me?
No. They never found me”.
– “”From “The Fable And Round of the Three Friends”, Poet in New York (1939), Garcia Lorca

One thought on “García Lorca’s Poem: “They never found me”

  1. Pingback: Before The Dawn By Federico García Lorca | Renard Moreau Presents

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