1910 Interval

This is an attempt at a translation of a poem by Fedrico Garcia Lorca based on my own very basic knowledge of Spanish, the Ben Belitt translation of 1955 and the excellent literalness of Google Translate.


Those eyes of mine of Nineteen Ten
saw no burial of the dead
nor the carnival of ash of the mourning dawn
nor the heart that trembles treed as the sea’s hobbyhorse.

Those eyes of mine of Nineteen Ten
saw the white-washed wall where the little girls pissed,
the snout of the bull, the poison mushroom,
and an incomprehensible moon that lit up in corners
pieces of dry lemon beneath the hard black of bottles.

Those eyes of mine held in a pony’s collar,
in the pierced breast of the sleeping Santa Rosa,
on the roofs of love, with moans and cool hands,
in a garden where the cats eat the frogs.

Attic, where the dust of old statues and mosses gather,
boxes that keep the silence of crabs devoured
in the place where dreams stumble into reality.
There, those little eyes of mine.

Ask nothing. I saw that things
are empty when shown their course.
There, a hollow pain for the air without people
and creatures were dressed in my eyes, unexposed.

New York, August 1910
Sutton Coldfield, October 2013
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