Sunday, February 22, 2015

Poet in New York

Frederico Garcia Lorca's Poet in New York is a lush collection of poems written during a nine month period he spent in the city (1929-1930). These poems are so richly lyrical. It is like eating the most high quality dense chocolates. His imagery is classic and naturalistic, and his sentiment is poetic and aching. These are poems of sad lament. These are poems that cry out, that mostly wail, though at times they whisper.

His language is unforgettable. Some favorite lines:

"Prepare your skeleton.
Hurry, love, hurry, we've go to look
for our sleepless profile."

"and the Jew pushed against the gate chastely the way lettuce grows coldly from its center."

"The architecture of frost"

"This is not hell, but the street."

"Look at this sad fossil world"

"While the people look for pillowed silences
you will pulse forever, defined by your ring."

"It's a capsule of air where we suffer the whole world,
a tiny space alive in the crazy unison of light"

"What matters is this: emptied space. Lonely world. River's mouth."

I also want to share something from the beginning of the volume, a note Lorca wrote to a friend describing his own passport photo: "

"It borders on the light of murder; borders on the nocturnal street corner where the delicate pick-pocket stashes his wad of money. The whimsical lens has captured, over my shoulder, a sort of harp, soft as a jellyfish, and the whole atmosphere has a certain finite tic, like the ash of a cigarette..."

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