Of the Dark Doves

For Claudio Guillén

In the branches of the laurel tree
I saw two dark doves
One was the sun
and one the moon
Little neighbors I said
where is my grave —
In my tail said the sun
On my throat said the moon
And I who was walking
with the land around my waist
saw two snow eagles
and a naked girl
One was the other
and the girl was none
Little eagles I said
where is my grave —
In my tail said the sun
On my throat said the moon
In the branches of the laurel tree
I saw two naked doves
One was the other
and both were none

— Federico García Lorca
(Trans. by Sarah Arvio)

Spanish poet Federico García Lorca was abducted and executed by right-wing National forces during the Spanish Civil War (1935-1936). He dedicated Of the Dark Doves to Claudio Guillén, who fled Spain at the age of 15 after the war.

Advertisements