Federico García Lorca
Poem of the Solea, translated by Ralph Angel

to Jorge Zalamea


Dry land,

quiet land

of night’s



(Wind in the olive groves.

wind in the Sierra.)




of oil lamps

and grief.


of deep cisterns.

Land of death without eyes

and arrows.


(Wind on the roads.

Breeze in the poplar groves.)



Upon a barren hill,

a Calvary.

Clear water

and century-old olive trees.

In the narrow streets,

men hidden under cloaks,

and on the towers

the spinning vanes.



Oh, village lost

in the Andalucia of tears!



The dagger

enters the heart

the way plowshares turn over

the wasteland.



Do not cut into me.



Like a ray of sun,

the dagger

ignites terrible




Do not cut into me.




East wind,

a street lamp

and a dagger

in the heart.

The street

quivers like

tightly pulled


like a huge, buzzing



I see a dagger

in the heart.



The cry leaves shadows of cypress

upon the wind.


(Leave me here, in this field,



The whole world’s broken.

Only silence remains.


(Leave me here, in this field,



The darkened horizon’s

bitten by bonfires.


(I’ve told you already to leave me

here, in this field,




He lay dead in the street

with a dagger in his chest.

Nobody knew who he was.

How the streep lamp flickered!

Mother of god,

how the street lamp

faintly flickered!

It was dawn. Nobody

could look up, wide-eyed,

into the glare.

And he lay dead in the street

with a dagger in his chest,

and nobody knew who he was.



Wearing black mantillas,

she thinks the world is tiny

and the heart immense.


Wearing black mantillas.


She thinks that tender sighs

and cries disappear

into currents of wind.


Wearing black mantillas.


The door was left open,

and at dawn the entire sky

emptied onto her balcony.


Ay, yayayayay,

wearing black mantillas!



From the cave

come endless sobbings.



over red.)


The gypsy

calls forth the distance.


(Tall towers

and mysterious men.)


In an unsteady voice

his eyes wander.



over red.)


And the white-washed cave

trembles in gold.



over red.)



For you and I

aren’t ready

to find each other.

You…as you well know.

I loved her so much!

Follow the narrowest path.

I have


in my hands

from the nails.

Can’t you see how

I’m bleeding to death?

Don’t look back,

go slowly,

and pray as I do

to San Cayetano

for you and I

aren’t ready

to find each other.



Bells of Cordoba

in the early morning.

Bells of Granada

at dawn.

You are felt by all the girls

who weep to the tender,

weeping Solea.

The girls

of upper Andalucia,

and of lower.

You girls of Spain,

with tiny feet

and trembling skirts,

who’ve filled the crossroads

with crosses.

Oh, bells of Cordoba

in the early morning,

and, oh, bells of Granada

at dawn!

Found In Volume 35, No. 04
Read Issue
  • lorca
Federico García Lorca
About the Author

Federico García Lorca (1898 - 1936) is among the most important Spanish poets and dramatists of the twentieth century. Much of García Lorca’s work was infused with popular themes such as Flamenco and Gypsy culture. In 1922, García Lorca organized the first “Cante Jondo” festival in which Spain’s most famous “deep song” singers and guitarists participated. The deep song form permeated his poems of the early 1920s. During this period, García Lorca became part of a group of artists known as Generación del 27, which included Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel. He was murdered at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War by Nationalists. To this day, no one knows where the body of Federico García Lorca rests.