Federico Garcia Lorca turns 114 today. The Andalucian is perhaps best known for two things: 1) dying at the hands of anti-communist forces at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and 2) his flamenco-inflected trilogy of plays about women (Yerma, La Casa de Bernalda Alba, and Bodas de Sangre). But Lorca was also rather forward thinking in his time–in his last play El Publico, he explored surrealism and breaking down the fourth wall.
More than anything, Lorca was a poet. That even Langston Hughes attempted a translation of Lorca’s verses gives you an idea of the influence this poet has had on artists, musicians, and artists. Here’s one poem to take away on Lorca’s birthday. From Poeta en Nueva York, here is a video of the poem “La Aurora”:
A note on the video: The introduction to the poem is great, but the music a bit cloying. I actually cut off the music when the poem came on. If you have link to a better video or text, please leave a comment below. I left my collection of Lorca’s poems at home. I highly recommend this collection that has all of Lorca’s poems in Spanish and English translations by Christopher Maurer.