I’ll be sharing this at Moving Poems in a couple of weeks, but here’s a sneak peek. For the Spanish text (or my translation), see “Federico García Lorca: two translations,” my post from 2005.
“Gacela” means “ghazal,” but I decided to keep the Spanish word this time to avoid confusion, since Lorca’s notion of what constitutes a ghazal differs so much from the practice of contemporary English-language poets (to say nothing of Arabic poets). This was part of Lorca’s 23-poem cycle Divan del Tamarit, an homage to the great Moorish civilization of his native Andalusia.
Lorca’s free adaptations of the ghazal and qasida reflected the influence of the anthology Poemas Arábigoandaluces translated by Emilio García Gómez, which created a minor sensation among Spanish readers and intellectuals when it was published in 1930. Poets of the renowned Generation of 27, which included Lorca, found it especially revelatory. Rafael Albertí later told an interviewer, “That book opened our eyes to all that Andalusian past, and brought it so close to us that it left me with a great preoccupation for those writers, those Andalusian writers, Arabs and Jews, born in Spain… If one studies Arab-Andalusian poetry carefully, so full of metaphors and miniaturism, we will see that there is a continuity with the later poetry, of Góngora, Soto de Rojas, and centuries later, with our own.” (I’m quoting from the introduction to an English translation of the anthology, Poems of Arab Andalusia, by Cola Franzen.)
The music, as noted in the credits, is by Antony Raijekov. It’s from his Jamendo.com collection Jazz U, to which he applied a liberal Creative Commons license that allows for remixes.