Casida of Sobbing

I have shut my balcony door
because I don’t want to hear the sobbing,
but from behind the grayish walls
nothing else comes out but sobbing.

Very few angels are singing,
very few dogs are barking,
a thousand violins fit into the palm of my hand.

But the sobbing is a gigantic dog,
the sobbing is a gigantic angel,
the sobbing is a gigantic violin,
tears close the wind’s jaws,
all there is to hear is sobbing.

— Federico García Lorca
(Trans. by Robert Bly)

Casida del llanto

He cerrado mi balcón
porque no quiero oír el llanto
pero por detrás de los grises muros
no se oye otra cosa que el llanto.

Hay muy pocos ángeles que canten,
hay muy pocos perros que ladren,
mil violines caben en la palma de mi mano.

Pero el llanto es un perro inmenso,
el llanto es un ángel inmenso,
el llanto es un violín inmenso,
las lágrimas amordazan al viento
y no se oye otra cosa que el llanto.

— Federico García Lorca

Spanish poet Federico García Lorca was abducted and executed by right-wing National forces during the Spanish Civil War (1935-1936). Casida of Sobbing was one of his last poems, published posthumously.

[Research note: Robert Bly, Trans., Selected Poems of Lorca and Jiminez (Boston: Beacon Press, 1973, 1997), pp. 188-189]

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