The poet Federico García Lorca dedicated a series of poem called “Seis Caprichos” to his guitarist friend Regino Sáinz de la Maza. Before enjoying his marvellous and sophisticated art, I’d like to quote some interesting words so we can know him a bit better.
These are quoted from Lorca himself, and his friends; Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet; and Vicente Aleixandre, a Spanish poet.
Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet and diplomat known as one of the twentieth century’s greatest poets.
In 1933, Lorca was in Buenos Aires for the Argentinian premiere of his play, “Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding)”. Also, Neruda arrived in Buenos Aires to serve as Chilean consul. At the house of the Argentinian writer Pablo Rojas Paz, Neruda was introduced to Lorca. He describes his friend in his memoir “Confieso que he vivido (I confess that I have lived): Memorias (Memoirs)” (1974).
“What a poet! I have never seen grace and genius, a winged heart and a crystalline waterfall come together in anyone else as they did in him. Federico García Lorca was the extravagant “duende,” he was a magnetic joyfulness that generated a zest for life in his heart and radiated it like a planet. Open-hearted and comical, worldly and provincial, an extraordinary musical talent, a splendid mime, easily alarmed and superstitious, radiant and noble, he was the epitome of Spain through the ages, of her popular tradition. Of Arabic-Andalusian roots, he brightened and perfumed like jasmine the stage set of a Spain that, alas, is gone forever”
Federico García Lorca:
In 1934, Lorca talked about his permanent connection with his childhood in an interview in Buenos Aires.
“My life? Is it just that I have a life? These my years still seem to me like children. The emotions of my childhood are still inside me. I haven’t left from these”
|Vicente Aleixandre in 1977
(Photo by gahetNA, available under CC-BY-SA license)
Colleague of Generation and a friend of Lorca, Vicente Aleixandre evokes memories of Lorca on “Evocación de Federico García Lorca”(1958).
“Federico has been compared with a child, it can be compared with an angel, with water (he described himself as “my heart is a bit of pure water” on a letter), with a rock; in his most tremendous moments, it was impetuous, rapturous, magical like a forest. Each person saw him in his own way. The people who loved him and lived with him, always saw him as the same person, nonetheless, changeable, unsettled like nature itself.”
Lorca began his artistic creation inspired by the countryside in Granada when he was a child. In many occasions, he said that his creation was a reinterpretation of nature. It is possible that Lorca’s “nature” includes all the wisdom and culture of human being from Shakespeare, Goethe, Socrates to Zurbarán, El Greco, Paganini, Lope, Góngora, etc. Lorca assimilated and integrated that multitude of literary, artistic and plastic references for his own creation.
Here, Aleixandre continues telling us about the intellectual quality and the duality that symbolises what Lorca was like.
“I have seen him in late nights, suddenly, appeared leaning over to the mysterious handrail, when the moon corresponded to him, and moonlight silvered his face; I have felt that his arms lean on the air, but his legs were sinking into the time, into the centuries, into the very remote root of the Spanish land. Until I don’t know where, in search of the deep wisdom that was blazing in his eyes, burning in his lips, making his frown white-hot by the inspiration. No, he was not a child then. What an old man, what an old man, what an antique, how fabulous and mythical!”
“His heart was surely unhappy. He was capable of being filled with joy of the Universe; however, his deep abyss, as the one of all the great poet, was not of the happiness.
His heart was, as well as few, passionate, and the capacity for love and suffering ennobled every day that noble brow more and more. He loved very much, the quality that some superficial people denied. And he suffered for love, what probably nobody knew about.”
Cover Photo: Courtesy of Fundación Federico García Lorca