Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts with the label Granada

Sonnet of Sweet Complaint - Federico Garcia Lorca

Lorca's house in the outskirts of Granada
Today I gave a travel presentation at work about Spain and I included this sonnet from one of Spain's greatest poets/playwrights, Federico Garcia Lorca. It's full of visual imagery which not only gives the reader the ability to see what he's written but it also leads the mind of the reader in search of meaning.

Sonnet of Sweet Complaint
Never let me lose the marvel
of your statue-like eyes, or the accent
the solitary rose 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 original Spanish version below is from
http://www.poesia-inter.net/fglso107.htm

Soneto de la Dulce Queja
Teng…

The Court of the Lions

The real beauty of the Court of the Lions lies in the harmonious co-existence of three religious architectural influences. At the center of the courtyard is a fountain with 12 lions, representing the twelve tribes of Judah. Exquisite columns form a cloister surrounding the courtyard, a typical feature in cathedrals and monasteries throughout Europe. Geometric patterns in the traditional Mudejar style decorate the rooms. Much of the bright, rich colors of the tiles have survived to this day.

Looking across the courtyard, I can understand the lagrimas of Boabdil, the last Sultan, who was exiled to Africa after the Spaniards reconquered Granada. How often had he gazed at this courtyard and appreciated the symmetry of the columns, inhaled the sweet scent of oranges that are a staple in these parts, was lulled to sleep by the tinkling of water from the fountain and awoke reinvigorated in the coolness of his opulent surroundings. Asi es la vida.

* * *

Image by Rosario Charie Albar