Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Frederico Garcia Lorca ( 5/6/1896 -19/8/36 ) - Death of a Poet

Frederico Carcia Lorca, Andalucian poet, dramatist and artist, hero of mine, was murdered by fascist militiamen  on this day  the fifth of August 1936..
Throughout his all too short but trailblazing life, death had been his central artistic theme, it seems he had foretold his own violent death, when he wrote  ' Then I realised I had been murdered. They  looked for me in cafes, cemeteries and churches - but they did not find me. They never found me. They never found me.'
Few artists, have represented and embodied their nations collective spirit more than Lorca - which makes  the tragic account of his death all the more heartbreaking.
Born on 5 June 1898 in the village of Fuente Vaqeurtos in the province of Granada, a man ahead of his time, avant gardist, homosexual and restless traveller, the most  gypsy of poets , a term he rejected, friend of surrealists, developing his own ingenious style, full of lyrical freshness and spontaneity. His poems  painted a vivid and intrinsic poetical portrait of Spain and the region of Andalucía in particular. A poet of the universal, who used his voice to speak about love, death, passion, cruelty and injustice, and also the most international, saying - ' I sing to Spain, and I feel her to the core of my being, but above all Iam a man of the world and brother of everyone.'
Shortly  after the Spanish Civil War broke out in July 1938, Lorca made the misguided decision to leave the  safe enclave of Madrid, to be with his family, in the conservative hometown og  Granada. Almost immediately after he had arrived, the area was seized by the Nationalist Fallangists. In spite of carefully cultivating an apolitical stance, his association with the Republic made him a marked man. His plays also dealt with repression, and some anti-Catholic opinions in interviews made him a high profile target.
Despite going into hiding the Fallangists hunted him down. He was arrested and imprisoned, without trial and charge, and mercilessly tortured. On August 19th at around 3.00 a.m he was handcuffed to another prisoner ( a teacher). shortly before  dawn he was taken out along with the teacher and two bullfighters ( members of the Anarchist Trade Union CNT), three guards struck Loca's body with the butts of their rifles, then he was shot, his body riddle with bullets. Some say he was  murdered because of his sexuality,  as well as his politics. The body of Frederico Garcia, one of the greatest poets and playwrights  of the twentieth century and  one of Spain's most prodigious sons was unceremoniously dumped in a hastily dug hole, soon to be a mass grave. Despite years of efforts his body I believe has never been found.The fascist forces then tried to erase his memory, burning and banning  his books.Lorca’s writing, considered deeply homoerotic, was banned until 1954 and censored until 1975.One thing is for certain his life would not be forgotten. Lorca's voice would still  belong to humanity. An emblem who gave his  life for Spain, a martyr of it's people. He once said ' I will always be on the side of those who have nothing and who are not even allowed  to enjoy the nothing they have in peace. Many years  after his death his voice still rings out, where bullets were unable to silence him.

Frederico Garcia Lorca -  Before the Dawn

But like love
the archers
are blind

Upon the green night,
the piercing saetas
leave traces of warm

The Keel of the moon
breaks through purple clouds
and their quivers
still with dew

Aye, but like love
the archers
are blind!

Frederico Garcia Lorca - Farewell

If I die,
leave the balcony open.

The little boy is eating orange
(from my balcony I can see him.)

The reaper is harvesting the wheat
(from my balcony I can hear him,)

If I die
leave the balcony open!

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