Dawn – Federico García Lorca

Dawn in New York has 

four columns of mire 

and a hurricane of black pigeons 

splashing in the putrid waters. 
Dawn in New York groans 

on enormous fire escapes 

searching between the angles 

for spikenards of drafted anguish. 
Dawn arrives and no one receives it in his mouth 

because morning and hope are impossible there: 

sometimes the furious swarming coins 

penetrate like drills and devour abandoned children. 
Those who go out early know in their bones 

there will be no paradise or loves that bloom and die: 

they know they will be mired in numbers and laws, 

in mindless games, in fruitless labors. 
The light is buried under chains and noises 

in the impudent challenge of rootless science. 

And crowds stagger sleeplessly through the boroughs 

as if they had just escaped a shipwreck of blood.

Gacela Of The Dead Child – Federico García Lorca

Each afternoon in Granada, 

each afternoon, a child dies. 

Each afternoon the water sits down 

and chats with its companions. 
The dead wear mossy wings. 

The cloudy wind and the clear wind 

are two pheasants in flight through the towers, 

and the day is a wounded boy. 
Not a flicker of lark was left in the air 

when I met you in the caverns of wine. 

Not the crumb of a cloud was left in the ground 

when you were drowned in the river. 
A giant of water fell down over the hills, 

and the valley was tumbling with lilies and dogs. 

In my hands’ violet shadow, your body, 

dead on the bank, was an angel of coldness.

City That Does Not Sleep -Federico García Lorca

In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody. 

Nobody is asleep. 

The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins. 

The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream, 

and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the 

street corner 

the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the 

Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody. 

Nobody is asleep. 

In a graveyard far off there is a corpse 

who has moaned for three years 

because of a dry countryside on his knee; 

and that boy they buried this morning cried so much 

it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet. 
Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful! 

We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth 

or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead 


But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist; 

flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths 

in a thicket of new veins, 

and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever 

and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders. 
One day 

the horses will live in the saloons 

and the enraged ants 

will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the 

eyes of cows. 
Another day 

we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead 

and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats 

we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue. 

Careful! Be careful! Be careful! 

The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm, 

and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention 

of the bridge, 

or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe, 

we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes 

are waiting, 

where the bear’s teeth are waiting, 

where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting, 

and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder. 
Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody. 

Nobody is sleeping. 

If someone does close his eyes, 

a whip, boys, a whip! 

Let there be a landscape of open eyes 

and bitter wounds on fire. 

No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one. 

I have said it before. 
No one is sleeping. 

But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the 


open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight 

the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

Landscape Of A Vomiting Multitude – Federico García Lorca

The fat lady came out first, 

tearing out roots and moistening drumskins. 

The fat lady 

who turns dying octopuses inside out. 

The fat lady, the moon’s antagonist, 

was running through the streets and deserted buildings 

and leaving tiny skulls of pigeons in the corners 

and stirring up the furies of the last centuries’ feasts 

and summoning the demon of bread through the sky’s clean-swept hills 

and filtering a longing for light into subterranean tunnels. 

The graveyards, yes the graveyards 

and the sorrow of the kitchens buried in sand, 

the dead, pheasants and apples of another era, 

pushing it into our throat. 
There were murmuring from the jungle of vomit 

with the empty women, with hot wax children, 

with fermented trees and tireless waiters 

who serve platters of salt beneath harps of saliva. 

There’s no other way, my son, vomit! There’s no other way. 

It’s not the vomit of hussars on the breasts of their whores, 

nor the vomit of cats that inadvertently swallowed frogs,

but the dead who scratch with clay hands 

on flint gates where clouds and desserts decay. 
The fat lady came first 

with the crowds from the ships, taverns, and parks. 

Vomit was delicately shaking its drums 

among a few little girls of blood 

who were begging the moon for protection. 

Who could imagine my sadness? 

The look on my face was mine, but now isn’t me, 

the naked look on my face, trembling for alcohol 

and launching incredible ships 

through the anemones of the piers. 

I protect myself with this look 

that flows from waves where no dawn would go, 

I, poet without arms, lost 

in the vomiting multitude, 

with no effusive horse to shear 

the thick moss from my temples. 
The fat lady went first 

and the crowds kept looking for pharmacies 

where the bitter tropics could be found. 

Only when a flag went up and the first dogs arrived 

did the entire city rush to the railings of the boardwalk.

Sonnet Of The Sweet Complaint – Federico García Lorca

Never let me lose the marvel 

of your statue-like eyes, or the accent 

the solitary rose of your breath 

places on my cheek at night. 
I am afraid of being, on this shore, 

a branchless trunk, and what I most regret 

is having no flower, pulp, or clay 

for the worm of my despair. 
If you are my hidden treasure, 

if you are my cross, my dampened pain, 

if I am a dog, and you alone my master, 
never let me lose what I have gained, 

and adorn the branches of your river 

with leaves of my estranged Autumn.

The Little Mute Boy – Federico García Lorca

The litle boy was looking for his voice. 

(The King of the crickets had it.) 

In a drop of water 

the little boy was looking for his voice. 
I do not want it for speaking with; 

I will make a ring of it 

so that he may wear my silence 

on his little finger. 
In a drop of water 

the little boy was looking for his voice. 
(The captive voice, far away. 

Put on a cricket’ clothes.)

The Faithless Wife – Federico García Lorca

So I took her to the river 

believing she was a maiden, 

but she already had a husband. 

It was on St. James night 

and almost as if I was obliged to. 

The lanterns went out 

and the crickets lighted up. 

In the farthest street corners 

I touched her sleeping breasts 

and they opened to me suddenly 

like spikes of hyacinth. 

The starch of her petticoat 

sounded in my ears 

like a piece of silk 

rent by ten knives. 

Without silver light on their foliage 

the trees had grown larger 

and a horizon of dogs 

barked very far from the river. 
Past the blackberries, 

the reeds and the hawthorne 

underneath her cluster of hair 

I made a hollow in the earth 

I took off my tie, 

she too off her dress. 

I, my belt with the revolver, 

She, her four bodices. 

Nor nard nor mother-o’-pearl 

have skin so fine, 

nor does glass with silver 

shine with such brilliance. 

Her thighs slipped away from me 

like startled fish, 

half full of fire, 

half full of cold. 

That night I ran 

on the best of roads 

mounted on a nacre mare 

without bridle stirrups. 
As a man, I won’t repeat 

the things she said to me. 

The light of understanding 

has made me more discreet. 

Smeared with sand and kisses 

I took her away from the river. 

The swords of the lilies 

battled with the air. 
I behaved like what I am, 

like a proper gypsy. 

I gave her a large sewing basket, 

of straw-colored satin, 

but I did not fall in love 

for although she had a husband 

she told me she was a maiden 

when I took her to the river.